Buying our tickets early in the morning, the woman at the counter said they were filming a promotional video at a show to celebrate the zoo’s reopening after the COVID-19 outbreak.
‘Since you’re the first couple here, would you like to be a part of it?’ she asked.
Told that I’d get to meet a black cockatoo face-to-face, when he landed on my arm to fetch a note from my hand, I jumped at the chance.
‘I’d love to,’ I replied, not quite believing our luck.
After getting all the details of what I’d have to do, we had three hours before the show.
Making our way around the park, we saw tortoises, lizards and lace monitors. We also viewed other native creatures, such as koalas, echidnas and wombats.
Then, just before 12pm, we made our way to the Crocoseum, where the shows take place, and found our seats.
Despite being in the shade, Jesse was sweaty and fidgety.
‘Is it hot in here?’ he asked.
‘Sit still,’ I replied, thinking he was nervous about our big moment.
After a thrilling crocodile feeding, another zookeeper walked in with a red-tailed black cockatoo on her arm.
This was it!
‘Would anyone like to meet Euli?’ she asked the crowd.
Jumping up, I waved my arms in the air on cue. Then, I held out a fake $5 note the ticket seller had given me earlier for Euli to fetch.
Incredibly, he came straight to me, landing on my arm before taking the bill from my hand and flying back.
‘Now Euli’s going to deliver your receipt via airmail,’ the zookeeper smiled, adding that I should check it.
Euli dutifully put a white piece of paper in my palm before sailing away again.
As I uncurled it, though, I recognised Jesse’s writing.
Will you marry me? the note read.
Shocked, I turned to see Jesse was already on one knee, ring in hand.
‘Yes!’ I cried as the arena erupted in applause.
I’d had no idea Jesse had been planning it for months.
We spent the rest of the day showing off my ring in photos with animals.
Afterwards, the zoo shared the video online and it went viral. Now, more than four million people have viewed it!
I still can’t believe that Jesse got a cockatoo to propose to me! He makes my heart soar every day we’re together.