Nobody knows more about love among the animals than zookeepers, whose livelihoods rely to some extent on successful sex in captivity. "Ninety percent of the animals you see in zoos were actually born in zoos," notes Denver Zoo spokeswoman Suzanne Balog. So if Leo and Leona aren't getting it on, public menageries might become geriatric wards for endangered species. You'll get to hear some of the keepers' best stories tonight, when the zoo hosts Jungle Lovin', an adults-only Valentine's Day presentation on courtship and mating in the animal kingdom. Led by zoo staff, the beast feast will focus on everything from wild and wacky variations in sex organs to animal contraception. Human animals will learn the workings of the intra-zoo Species Survival Plan -- a "giant computer dating service," Balog explains, complete with detailed stud books for the lions, tigers and bears of the captive-animal world.
"There'll be a lot of scientific information, but it'll be presented with tongue firmly in cheek," she says of the program, which includes visual aids, champagne and chocolates. After all, you'll need a good sense of humor to consider the sex life of such voraciously horny fellas as the male rhino, a creature able to copulate on a single erection for more than 45 minutes. Unfortunately, that's also part of the rhino's downfall, because people now have the notion that powdered rhino horn is a great aphrodisiac. Not so, Balog says, and that's a perfect advertisement for Viagra: "Save the rhino! Use Viagra!"
The event runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the zoo, 2300 Steele Street. Admission is $20 to $22, and reservations are required. Call 303-376-4888, ext. 8, to make yours. -- Susan Froyd
East High tower opens to the public
With the State Capitol dome closed for renovations and the Tivoli tower available only for events, Denver has few great public sky-gazing spots. But tonight there's a rare opportunity to peer out from the East High School tower, 1545 Detroit Street, and take in a Rocky Mountain sunset. Starting at 5:30 p.m., join Mayor John Hickenlooper and City Auditor Dennis Gallagher for a tour of Denver's oldest school (East opened in 1875). The tour is part of an open house to kick off the East Library Renaissance Project. It also provides a chance to walk through the same halls in which graduates Don Cheadle, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Judy Collins came of age.
East's third-floor library was originally christened in 1925, but little has been done to keep it up to date, so a concerned group of parents, alumni and students created the East High Angel Foundation to restore the facility to its original splendor and raise funds for other necessary projects.
Bistro Boys Catering will provide free food (no booze; it's a high school!) for the gathering, and campus clubs and organizations will be out in force. And you never know: With East's history of churning out celebrities, there may be more stars present than the ones seen from the tower. -- Amy Haimerl
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Only the Lonely
If your heart is feeling a little black and blue around the edges, unite with bruised brethren tonight at the Broken Heart Valentines gathering presented by the Denver Research Group. An evening of diverse entertainment and performance art will be conjured to heal heartaches. Start by getting your blood pumping with a musical installation by Roger Green from the Czars, then dance the blues away with music from Tyler Potts, DJ Idiom, Usetonaut, Ms. Hollowell, Red Specter and Jessica Zimmer. A suggested donation of $5 gets you in the door at 1808 Gaylord Street, with the black-hearted fare commencing at 7 p.m. Visit www.tylerpotts.com/valentine.html for more information. -- Kity Ironton
Cupid's Fetish Feast brings out the beasts
If you've been hankering for a Valentine's Day fete with a bit of bite, then gorge yourself with a holiday helping of eye candy at Cupid's Fetish Feast, hosted by international fetish divas Midori and Kumi Monster. Not your typical girls next door, Midori and Kumi will guide you through an evening of wax play and Japanese rope bondage in the city's newest tied-and-true social club, at 6040 East 50th Avenue in Commerce City. The viscous Valentine celebration whips into action at 7 p.m. tonight, featuring the saucy sounds of DJ Zoya, Machine Gun Symphony and the Siren Project; the latest in erotica wear from Über, Buffalo Exchange, Slave 1 and Fascinations; and a performance from burlesquers Women of Fear. Tickets are $65-$120; alcohol and nudity are not permitted. For more information, log on to www.cupidsfetishfeast.com. Should be a spanking good time! -- Kity Ironton