It started as a normal day at the zoo… but one family was in for a huge surprise.
For eight long months, Army Sgt. Keith Howse was stationed in Afghanistan. His two young daughters, Nataja and Jorja, desperately missed their heroic father.
In June 2012, the girls visited the Brookfield Zoo with their mom. All of the sudden, they were called from the stands to assist in a special encounter with one of the dolphins.
The show’s narrator announced their father was serving overseas, so the staff wanted to make the family’s experience extra special.
Nataja and Jorja were so excited to get up close and personal with the beautiful and friendly dolphins. They got to feed them and pet them on their noses! But then, suddenly, the trainer pointed across the water.
Within seconds, the crowd quickly learned that the dolphins were never intended to be the real surprise.
Watch the video below to see how things took a stunning turn at the dolphin exhibit.
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Video Credit: Chicago Zoological Society / Brookfield Zoo