This is a paid piece from the Great Plains Zoo.

Simplified: The Great Plains Zoo is hosting a new Woo at the Zoo event to celebrate Valentine's Day, and the goal is to teach adults about all things related to mating, dating and copulating in the animal world.

Why it matters

  • Many adults stop learning about animals after the basic family-friendly facts like what they eat or how fast they can run, Conservation Director Stephanie Arne said.
  • But there are lots of ways adults can relate to animals, especially when it comes to more adult topics like sex, mating, giving birth and parenting.
  • The Woo at the Zoo event – starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11 – aims to educate people about those more "adult" aspects of the animal kingdom in a comfortable, humorous environment where they can learn everything from how various body parts work to why animals behave certain ways.
"We have to giggle through it and have some laughs in order to learn and find a unique way to connect with the natural world," Arne said.

Tell me more about the event

Folks will have a chance to mingle, have a drink and take photos at the photo wall. Light appetizers will also be provided by the Sioux Falls Food Co-op, and other local businesses are giving away door prizes.

  • During this part of the event, attendees will also have a chance to meet live "animal ambassadors" such as birds and snakes, and learn about their mating rituals.
  • There will also be animal biofacts on the tables, including platypus eggs and a walrus baculum (yep, gonna make you look that one up on your own.)

Then, Arne and Education Director Leigh Spencer will lead a presentation with lots more information on everything from animal body parts to sex to birth experiences.

"It will be extremely educational – things they've never seen or heard before," she said. "For example, did you know all animals' sperm looks different?"

Get the specifics

The event starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 at the zoo.

Tickets are $35 per person, and must be purchased in advance as spots are limited. Get tickets here.

  • Tickets include light appetizers and non-alcoholic drinks. Beer and wine will be available for purchase.