Giraffe Feeding Program Kicks Off
A year ago a suggestion was laid before the management team – to train our giraffes to feed off human hands like it is done in Kenya. The idea sounded good but needed a lot of commitment and dedication from the animal keepers to pull it off. The animal keepers affirmed that they were more than ready to see it through and the training began. It was not an easy one, though. Feeding points had to be changed and a lot of time had to be allotted for the activity, amid other daily tasks. The most difficult of all was getting the wild giraffes to become accustomed to humans and be able to approach them with ease. During the first couple of months, the graceful creatures practically took off and waited for the tractor to drive out , after the keepers had served, before they could go to their feeding troughs. Despite that, the keepers were determined and thus began the journey of a thousand steps.
At the end of May, it was announced that the giraffes were now approaching them with ease, including Nile, the youngest of them, who had been very skeptical many months after Tangy and Seguya had started to get the hang of it. At the beginning of June, the animal keepers started to construct a giraffe feeding platform at the edge of the fence beneath the viewing point. This will give access to any visitor who would like to participate in the program as part of his/her experience.
Feeding times will be scheduled on specific days of the week when an animal keeper will be stationed at the viewing point. A visitor will first be encouraged to disinfect his or her hands before and after engaging in the activity. This will be done to ensure that the animals and visitors do not get infection from contaminated hands. Kudos to the keepers for seeing this through successfully!