Photos: You Can Now Feed Giraffes By Hand At The L.A. Zoo
You thought it was wild when you hand-fed that pony once at a ranch? Way weak. What about feeding the tallest land mammal on Earth?
The Los Angeles Zoo has recently unveiled that option to its guests. For a mere $5 (plus admission to the zoo) you'll be able to amble up to a Masai giraffe and feed it by hand. The feedings take place daily at 11 a.m. and again at 2:30 p.m.
As the zoo notes, the giraffes can grow up to 17 feet tall (a basketball hoop is 10 feet high, for context) and may weigh as much as 2,700 pounds. "Because of its long legs and long neck, the giraffe doesn't have to compete with other animals for its food," the zoo said in a release. Though, with their long lashes, they'll be vying for our affections at these feedings. Their life span, however, is unfortunately short; they're not expected to live much longer than 25-years-old.
As noted at NBC 4, the L.A. Zoo is home to six giraffes, including a three-month old female calf. As the zoo is also a botanical garden, all the food presented to the giraffes are grown in-house (the animals are herbivores, of course). Leaves from acacia trees are a popular item on the menu.
On the day of our visit, one giraffe named "Zainabu" came out to greet the guests. Our photographer characterized the giraffe as being very "shy," adding that he "thought it was cute." Which is to say that, even if you're afraid of animals, these giraffes may win your over with their gentle nature.
The L.A. Zoo is currently in the middle of celebrating its 50th year (they're calling it a "ZooLAbration"). You can look up events celebrating the anniversary here.
The Los Angeles Zoo is at 5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, (323) 644-4200. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.