Friday, August 14, 2009

Not In My Wildest Dreams

Did I ever think I'd hand feed a giraffe. I would've laughed and thought you silly if you'd have suggested I would drive to Wisconsin one day and get slobbered by a giraffe.

This is Bo. He's a 6-year-old Masai giraffe. Bo is 18 feet tall, and not done growing yet. His buddy, Max, is also a Masai giraffe and he's 5. Because he's a year younger, Max stands at only about 16 feet tall. He's a shrimp by comparison to Bo. Bo is quite charming and friendly, and we befriended one another quickly this afternoon at the Racine Zoo.

Together, Bo and Max have stripped all the branches of their leaves and bark within reach of those long, purple, giraffe tongues.

This is the way-cool zoo-lady who showed us how to feed the giraffes. Note that her head is the size of his mouth, yet she turns her back to him and smiles. Animals this big who aren't predators are awesome. It's like playing with a brontosaurus.

Bo really likes the crackers, you can tell.

Their tongues can extend 18 inches out of their mouths, and that's long enough to compensate for the short arms of a small human with a cookie.

It was really funny to me how aggressive Bo was in trying to get cookies, and EVERY SINGLE PERSON tried to be fair and give one to Bo and one to Max. They would NOT let Bo get more.

When everyone ran out of cookies, they kind of stood there and looked at us funny, as if to ask why we stopped.

Without food, others got bored and wandered off. Not me! I stayed and enjoyed the rare view of a giraffe from below. Well, that's not really rare, since most things are shorter than giraffes, but to be standing right below the head of a giraffe is rare, and the view was incredible.

I suppose many things in Africa see giraffes from this angle. Including people. Before they get trampled.

I asked the zoo-lady a question. When they're tall enough to just step over all the predators, what are giraffes afraid of? She said nothing. Only baby giraffes are really in danger of lion attacks, but the adults are pretty fearless.

Look at that face! It was coming at me from almost two stories up! I coulda kissed it!

When I have my own zoo, I think I'll have bunches of giraffes.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to finally wash my hands. Giraffe slobber, you know.


Leelu said...

Giraffes have the worlds best eyelashes. Trufax.

Kate P said...

That is so cool you got to feed them!

Mary Ellen said...

I love giraffes! They're so awesomely goofy-looking! I bet their ears are really soft, too.