Saturday, June 16, 2012

Giraffes

My dad had the day off yesterday, so we took the kids to the zoo for the first time this summer.  The day started off cool and overcast which is perfect zoo weather.  The animals seem to be out and about more when the weather is cooler.  A new addition to the zoo here is a feeding station for the giraffes.  I love giraffes.  At first glance, they look a bit awkward, but when they move, I think they look graceful.  They are gentle giants, and have noble, kind faces.  And their spot pattern is quite beautiful too.  With the new feeding station in place, we set out right away to check it out.  The girls were excited and Lucas was tentative, but eager to see what was involved.  We arrived and were handed a handful of "brows" or branches with plenty of large, green leaves just right for a giraffe's diet.  We were then introduced to three of our giraffes:  Ellie (the mom), Bogie (the dad) and Sergeant Peppers (the baby, born in January of this year).  We also learned a few interesting giraffe facts.

1. A giraffe's spot pattern is unique, like a fingerprint.  No two giraffes have the same pattern.
2. A giraffe's spots darken with age, so obviously the darker the spots, the older the giraffe.
3. A single kick from a giraffe is powerful enough to kill a lion or cheetah.
4. Their tongues are black to prevent sunburn.

We were only able to feed Ellie and Bogie since their baby is still drinking his mother's milk.  I thought little Sergeant Peppers was adorable, and he stuck pretty close to his mom.  The kids held up their leaves and the giraffes came right over.  Their eyes were big and doelike, with eyelashes to the moon.  Their noses were so soft, I had to use a lot of self control not to reach out and touch them.  Their tongues were super long and a bit freaky.  Gene Simmons would appreciate their tongues to be sure.  

 Mom and Baby
 "Leaves, my favorite."
 Hannah feeding Ellie
 "Uhhh, could you move that a little closer, please?"
Lucas feeding Bogie.  His dark spots showed his older age.

Overall it was a great experience and all three kids enjoyed it!

2 comments:

Susan Struck said...

I love giraffes and I believe they love me!

Kristin said...

I think that feeding station is so neat! I recently went there on a field trip and the zoo was so full, we weren't able to get to feed them, but I really wanted to! I'm glad to hear about your fun experience!