Zoo trek raises money for diabetes 2,000 take part in 3.5-mile walk

September 20, 1993|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff Writer

Loretta Bain took a "Walk on the Wild Side" yesterday and came face to face with a pair of Siberian tiger cubs.

She was delighted. Like almost everyone who hiked around the Baltimore Zoo to raise money for the Maryland chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, she thought watching the cubs gambol in the sunshine made her sore feet worthwhile.

"This little guy is trying to make a noise, and it just comes out as a squeak," Ms. Bain said. Unable to suppress her giggles as she leaned over the fence, the Baltimore woman added, "They're so cute."

Nearly 2,000 people spent four hours on the 3.5-mile zoo trek. Most said it didn't feel like a long hike because they stopped to admire the exotic birds, take snapshots of splashing polar bears and laugh at the rhinoceros.

The ninth annual walk-a-thon, billed as a "Walk on the Wild Side," was expected to bring in $140,000 for diabetes research.

It was a perfect day for walking, warm and breezy, as 800 other people participated in a separate hike for the American Cancer Society. Some jogged, while others pushed baby strollers 4.5 miles at the HarborView Marina and Yacht Club and at the McKeldin section of Patapsco Valley State Park.

At the zoo, young and old stopped to watch the female tiger cubs playfully tug on their mother's ear and roll around in the TC shade. The endangered cats were born nine weeks ago and made their public debut at the zoo Friday.

The zoo is having a name-the-cubs contest, and walkers tried to outdo each other yesterday in coming up with names for the pair.

Sarah Lumpkin, a 9-year-old from Delta, Pa., who was diagnosed with diabetes last year, wanted to name at least one of them "Wild Thing" in honor of the walk-a-thon.

Her mother, Margie MacCubbin, first heard of the walk while she was taking Sarah for tests in Baltimore. "It was great. We did the whole thing, and we didn't even realize that we were walking so far," Ms. MacCubbin said as she wheeled her 4-year-old son, Robbie, up the last hill to the exit.

Sean Michels, a 3-year-old from Catonsville who has diabetes, was more impressed by the giraffes than by the cubs. But Ashley Benedict, who hiked with Sean, offered a name for one of the cubs: "Sugar Foot."

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