I want to feed a giraffe for my birthday near DFW. Hope?
July 21, 2010 5:09 AM   Subscribe

Feeding the giraffes: does anyone have personal experience with this at the Fort Worth Zoo or the newly opened Dallas Zoo exhibit? What is it like -- can you purchase food? Is there a better possibility as a day trip from DFW?

One review on the Yelp page of the Dallas Zoo mentions them selling romaine leaves for $5 each and says to "BRING YOUR OWN LETTUCE if you want to feed them" -- this doesn't sound like anything a zoo would possibly condone.

I was a little disappointed at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch last year, where they have several beautiful giraffes who reside behind two fences. You're not allowed to feed them.

This is for my birthday in August (I know, hottest part of the year). Background: my first FPP. I have warned my partner that I may faint from excitement. She has promised to catch me.
posted by fiercecupcake to Grab Bag (9 answers total)
This is no help whatsoever to you (I'm good like that), but my kids fed a giraffe at Auckland Zoo in 2008. We climbed steps to get to a giraffe-mouth-height platform, and the kids were given green vegetables (lettuce and celery, I think) to feed him. He just hung with us, contentedly muching away on our offerings, checking us out while we oohed and aahed and fell madly in love with him. Damn, he was gorgeous.

We were astounded at how big his head was. When you're meeting them eye-to-eye, you realise they're not just tall but BIG.

I strongly recommend you save up for a trip to New Zealand for your birthday in 2011.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:42 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I was at the Ft. Worth zoo in May, and was really impressed. The giraffes were cool, but I never knew you could feed them. They also have an enormous aviary packed with small birds like parakeets and cockatiels. You can buy a seed stick and they'll land on your hand to eat. Awesome.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:54 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Giraffes will wander through a habitat several feet below a visitors' platform, so that both species encounter each other at head-level. Shade will draw the giraffes close to the visitors – and visitors close to the giraffes – but well-placed fallen trees will keep the two species just far enough apart.

Visitors, meanwhile, can purchase rye crisps to feed the giraffes. A zoo employee will hover nearby to make sure the giraffes aren't fed junk.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:56 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ah. See, spikelee..., that's a good anecdata point. If you never knew you could feed them, maybe you can't? Hmm. Not encouraging.

MuffinMan, that was from before the exhibit opened. I'd love to know how that's all shaken out now, if anyone does know.
posted by fiercecupcake at 6:01 AM on July 21, 2010

We were at the Dallas Zoo on Monday. In the new Giants of the Savanna exhibit (a good exhibit for Dallas), you can indeed feed the giraffes. There's an observation deck, and the giraffes walk up and take the food ($5.00/bundle) from your fingers. My daughter (8 years old) loved it.

The Giants exhibit is part of the Wilds of Africa exhibit, which also has a walk-in aviary--but no feeding there. The old part of the zoo (Zoo North) is undergoing a lot of renovation right now as they moved the cats, elephants, zebras, giraffes, warthogs, etc., from that part of the zoo over to the new part. The reptile/bird house, is about a third empty--though the zoo does have an albino alligator and couple of other gators in the "Ghosts of the Bayou" exhibit. Oh, if you're into it, they do offer camel rides for $5 in Zoo North. We've never done that.

Also, Dallas has it's children's zoo with petting, pony rides, splash area, etc. The best thing is a series of underground tunnels, The Underzone, where kinds can pop up into the mongoose exhibit (under plexi domes).

The Ft. Worth Zoo is still a better zoo experience, overall, but we live north of Dallas and so go to the Dallas Zoo often, and my daughter never gets tired of it.
posted by girlbowler at 6:24 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Why don't you just call them and ask? Fort Worth Zoo is 817-759-7555 and the Dallas Zoo is 214-670-5656.
posted by soma lkzx at 7:30 AM on July 21, 2010

soma lkzx, because I'm petrified of talking on the phone. I know it's ridiculous. I'm working on it.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:35 AM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

I believe you can feed the giraffes at Fossil Rim, which is about an hour drive from DFW.
posted by getawaysticks at 9:24 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Milwaukee zoo also allows people to feed the giraffes.

I don't know about the Forth Worth Zoo, but I would call ahead. For instance, the Milwaukee Zoo had a very limited number of slots to feed the giraffes. Tickets could not be bought ahead of time. I was super disappointed when I arrived at the zoo in the afternoon only to find out they were sold out. The woman I spoke to said that the slots usually sell out shortly after the zoo opens for the day (and there was no way to reserve a slot ahead of time). She also said the giraffes sometimes aren't really interested in being fed and they have to refund customers' money. In fact, earlier that day, they had to refund the money since the giraffes didn't feel like eating.

Bascially, my advice is to call ahead so you don't show up only to be disappointed.
posted by parakeetdog at 1:36 PM on July 22, 2010

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