Feed a Giraffe @ Korat Zoo

Since a very young age I've been fascinated by nature. Growing up on a large estuary in the UK gave me plenty of chances to watch Otters, Common and Grey Seals, Dolphins, Basking Sharks, Peregrine Falcons, countless species of seabirds, and thousands of wintering waterfowl and waders. The estuary was such a haven for wildlife that in my teens botanist and TV presenter David Bellamy bought a property overlooking it.

Being surrounded by nature as a child I was obviously also fascinated by the animals I saw in nature documentaries on TV - especially Polar Bears, Tigers, and Pandas. So when I was told that I was going to London Zoo in the late 70's I was excited beyond belief, but the experience was a complete let down. Of course I saw the animals I had watched on TV but they were in smallish enclosures with thick bars and there was no interaction, especially for someone who had grown up swimming with dolphins and sunbathing with seals.

Thankfully things have changed massively in terms of the way Zoos are designed and run since then with landmark open wildlife parks like Longleat leading the way.

Korat Zoo is also following the same trends with very large enclosures, mixed enclosures giving a more natural environment for the animals, a commitment to education and effective breeding programmes. They are also committed to interactivity and amongst other activities allow you to feed their Giraffes. We've all been to places where you can feed rabbits, goats, etc. but that's a little boring, imagine hand feeding the tallest animal on earth!

The giraffe is not only the tallest living terrestrial animal, but also the largest ruminant. Its species name refers to its camel-like appearance and the patches of colour on its fur. Its chief distinguishing characteristics are its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones, and its distinctive coat patterns. It is classified under the family Giraffidae, along with its closest relative, the okapi. It has nine subspecies which are distinguished by their coat patterns.

You'll need to catch the land train (20 Baht for a multi-ride ticket) to get to the Giraffe enclosure. Once your there buy some feed from the sellers, you'll then just need to go up to the edge of the enclosure, wave the feed and watch the Giraffes majestically wander over in search of a snack. The enclosure also contains Zebras, Guinea Fowl and occasional peacocks. But they aren't generally interested in your donation of quality fodder.

This is obviously great fun for kids and those who enjoy new experiences, but what I personally love about it is the fact that younger children are getting up close and personal to some of the greatest animals on earth. This can only give them a greater appreciation of the natural world and ensure they grow up realising how important caring for and protecting everything around us on incredible planet Earth is.

Korat Zoo is open everyday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.

Address: 111 Moo 1 Chaimongkol, Muang, Nakhon Ratchasima.

Telephone: 044 943 532, 044 943 537 to 8

Fax: 044 943 531, 044 943 537

E-mail: prmarketing.krz@gmail.com


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