DENVER -- For the first time since the Denver Zoo opened for business in 1896 visitors are now allowed to feed the animals. Well, not all the animals but giraffa camelopardalis reticulata, aka the giraffe.
The Denver Zoo is calling this new encounter of the close kind simply The Giraffe Encounter.
It's the zoo's way of bringing animals and humans closer in a safe and controlled environment. "We value the guest experience, we want to continue to improve the guest experience and we really want to connect people to animals that's really one of our driving forces and whenever we can build those connections and send people away valuing, appreciating and loving an animal even more because of their experience, that's what we're hoping for and this is a great opportunity to do so," said the Denver Zoo's Guest Engagement Manager Brittany Frederick.
A specially built platform which is safe for both humans and animals allows the tasty treats of fresh romaine lettuce to find its way into two-toed ungulate.
The giraffe is in fact the first animal at the Denver Zoo that visitors can actually feed, which begs the question, when will we be able to feed the lions? Zoo folks said that hasn't been discussed yet, but it's not out of the question.
Giraffe Fun Facts
- The giraffe is the tallest living land animal.
- A giraffe’s heart can weigh 22 pounds (10 kg) and measure up to two feet (60 cm) long.
- Giraffe sleep between 3-5 hours a day in short intervals of 12-15 minutes.
- The pattern of spots on every giraffe is unique – like human fingerprints.
- The name giraffe comes from the Arabic word “zarafah,” which means “one who walks swiftly.”