Why I grabbed the leg of a man dressed in a rhino suit

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The thing about being invited to an important event is that one never knows quite what to wear.

What outfits will everybody else be in? Should you go for the classy dress and heels, or the more casual look?

My heel got stuck and I went flying, ending up at the ‘rhino’s’ feet and grabbing his leg in the process

That was my dilemma when I was asked to attend the official opening of the new £3.6m Wild Explorers exhibit at Marwell Zoo.

A girl wants to make a good impression, so in the end I opted for the posh frock, kitten heels and a blast of fake bake.

But little did I know I would regret this later and that my choice of footwear would be my downfall – quite literally!

The new exhibit is the zoo’s biggest project and is the beginning of a £17m investment programme that will not only improve the habitat and make it more natural for the animals, but also make a better experience for visitors.

The exhibit houses three species – Scimitar-horned Oryx,White Rhino and Brevy’s Zebra, all rare breeds.

After a rollicking tour around the zoo on the road train, we stopped off at the giraffe house. They were all outside enjoying basking in the sun and had no intention of coming in to be gawped at by a large group of suspect humans.

A ranger did manage to entice a couple in with a feed bucket for a quick photoshoot though.

Next on the agenda were the cute Humboldt penguins, especially Ralph in his designer wetsuit. The featherless bird was at risk of sunburn and the cold after all his plumage fell out, which meant he would have had to stay indoors away from his friends until an international surf company came to his rescue and created a protective suit for him.

After a glass or two of bubbly, my pal Claire suggested we have a photo with a man lurking in a rhino suit.

Unfortunately for me, my heel got stuck and I went flying, ending up at the ‘rhino’s’ feet and grabbing his leg in the process.

I was tempted to say ‘you’ve pulled!’, but it did have its upside as a hunky ranger came