If you ask most people, “What’s your favorite animal?” they’ll say “dog” or “cat.” If you specify, “What wild animal is your favorite?” they’re likely to say, “lion” or “tiger” or “bear.” These animals are beautiful, majestic, and commonly seen in all types of media. “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” as Dorothy would say.
Ever since I can remember, my favorite wild animal is the giraffe. Don’t ask me why. They’re tall, ungainly animals with a long neck and long legs, and when they run, they look like they’ll fall over at any moment. www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsaOn85TqUE
Drinking means an awkward spreading and bending of the legs and neck, in order to reach the water. www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUSD1axDwQ0
Although giraffes look awkward, they can be fierce when threatened, like this one who tried to attack a safari jeep: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/caught-tape-frightening-footage-giraffe-attack-18796606
But giraffes, like most animals, can learn to get along and feel comfortable with humans. Check out this giraffe who was abandoned as a baby and now lives with humans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWzcPkLj2KQ
One of my most treasured memories is when we visited the giraffes at the Garden City (Kansas) Zoo. A female giraffe came over to the fence, reached her long neck over and lowered her head just a smidgen. She allowed me to touch her nose…it felt like warm velvet. Then she strode away, but she left me with an encounter I’ll always remember.
Now I see now they have “Giraffe Encounters” at the zoo: http://leerichardsonzoo.org/2013-05-16-GiraffeEncounter.php Oh my! I would so love to visit there now.
Do you have any wildlife encounters to share?