Zoo Part II: Feeding the Giraffes

giraffe detroit zoo

The main reason for going to the zoo and getting up early: feeding the giraffes!

We went to the zoo to celebrate my mom’s birthday. We decided to do something she’d never done but always wanted to do.

The zoo has allowed visitors feed the giraffes for a few years now. It’s one of their most popular activities. We had to be there when the zoo opened to buy our tickets because it almost always sells out.

It’s somewhat of an exclusive event. Only 100 people can feed the giraffes per day. The giraffes only come outside when its’ warm enough and if there’s a thunderstorm they usually stay inside because they’re timid animals.

We bought tickets for the first feeding of the day. We had a few hours before the feeding so we visited some of the other animals.

It turned out to be the perfect day to go to the zoo. The sky was the perfect shade of blue with no clouds. It was miserably hot, it wasn’t too cold. It was just right.

The animals weren’t very active that morning. They like to sleep in like everybody else on weekends too.


The lions were sleeping up against the wall of their enclosure. It was hard to get a good view of them but after walking around we finally saw them.


How cute are they?

After seeing the lions, we went to see one of the most talked about animals at the zoo, the camels. One of the camel’s just had a baby. It was only 2 weeks old.



The baby is so fluffy and tiny. While everyone was snapping pictures, he decided to stand up. With his legs wobbling, he stood up, and walked over to his mom. The whole process was very similar to bambi standing up for the first time.



Back legs first!


He’s up!


And now he’s on the move.


While he was enjoying the sunshine his mom was busy eating.


He finally made it over to his mom for a snack.

We had to go straight to the giraffes to get in line for the feeding. While we were in line, a zoo volunteer explained to us that there is a giraffe couple. The boy is unusual as far as giraffes go because he is very outgoing. Typically, giraffes are very shy. Not this one. He sees all of us waiting in line to feed him and he pops his head over the platform.


The zookeeper also explained that as much as we wanted to pet the giraffes, we couldn’t. As he said, they’re very shy and get scared easily.

They had some toys hanging from trees that they could bat around. Of course, the boy giraffe couldn’t resist showing off.


The girl giraffe is much smaller in size compared to the male giraffe. The boy giraffe usually scares his girlfriend away from the platform because he wants all of the food for himself. Naughty!


While we were in line, she decided to get a drink from a sprinkler.


I wonder how much water they drink in a day.


After being prepped by the zookeeper, we were ready to go.



The whole thing goes by in less than a minute. You’re given three leaves and then step up on the platform.





The giraffe sticks his tongue out and in less than a blink of an eye the leaf is gone.

In between people, the zookeeper feeds the giraffe from a big bucket of leaves.


A photographer is on the platform ready to take your picture with the giraffe.



Mom went first seeing at it was her birthday and all.



I got a great picture of her putting a leaf on the giraffe’s tongue.

My turn!


They gobble up the leaves so fast and then it’s over. It can be a little underwhelming because it takes so much planning and waiting for a minute or two of being with the giraffes but overall, it was a fun experience.


One more picture because they’re so pretty.




What animals have you fed at the zoo?















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