Many families visit the L.A. Zoo to bond with one another and create memories; the Obrecht family holds their Zoo memories closer now than ever before. One summer day in 2016, while the family was on vacation, 4 year old Mirabella – the Obrecht’s middle child – was found floating in the middle of the hotel pool, not breathing. It all happened in an instant. That instant of terror turned into what seemed like a lifetime, as the Orbrechts watched as firefighter Todd Hood, who happened to be in the pool at the time, performed CPR on Mirabella. With the assistance of the hotel lifeguard, he was able to revive the child.
Since then, Miabella has made a full recovery. The family now tries to have family excursions as often as possible, regularly choosing the L.A. Zoo as the destination. After being intermittent members for the past four years, they still find it amazing that each visit presents something new.
A tradition that has fallen into place for the Obrecht family is L.A. Zoo Lights. Mom Dina Obrecht explains enthusiastically, “The kids were just in awe of the bright lights and vibrant colors in 2014, that we’ve been going every year ever since.” The family’s favorite time to go is in early December, always on a chilly weeknight. “We have hot chocolate, walk through, and enjoy every light,” she says. This year is extra special for the Obrecht family because it will be the first time that two-year-old Daniel, the youngest, will experience L.A. Zoo Lights fully awake. Dina laughs, “He was asleep in the stroller the whole night last year.”