Tuesday, November 18, 2008

San Diego Wild Animal Park, Part 1- Giraffes!

Yesterday I attended a fundraiser event for my company's charitable foundation for animals and animal causes. Our foundation has helped adopt out over 2.5 million animals, and has provided over $45 million in grants to various shelters, animal rescue groups and organizations that help animals in need. This annual event assembles our vendors to participate in activities to donate money to the foundation. The events included a Golf Scramble, a visit to the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and a Culinary Experience (cooking competition). Before dinner there was a silent auction, followed by a live auction where vendors bid big bucks on prize packages that included time with company officers (including me). They were bidding for things like a day sailing trip, day of golf, or to attend a San Diego Padre's baseball game in our company's suite (at the stadium named after our company). We raised a bunch of money and it was a fun evening. Earlier in the day I went to the Wild Animal Park where I went on a Safari Adventure in a caravan through the park. I took tons of photos, so I'm going to split them up over a few days. One of the highlights was seeing the giraffes. They walked right up to the caravan and we fed them leaves. Our guide told us that giraffes have 14 inch tongues, which we had ample opportunity to see while feeding them. They are really such sweet animals, I very much enjoyed the time we spent with them. In these photos (above and below) you can see the caravans we were in, and how the giraffes roamed around so freely.
A Few Facts on Giraffes
It turns out that giraffes are the tallest animals on land. Their necks are six foot long and weighs an amazing 600 pounds. Their legs are also six feet long. Despite the optical illusion, their four legs are about the same length. Here are some other tidbits I found amazing: a giraffe's heart is two feet long and weighs about twenty-five pounds. Their lungs can hold twelve gallons of air. They can eat up to seventy-five pounds of food per day! Apparently giraffes eat all day long because they only get a few leaves in each bite.
Here I am Feeding the Giraffes!

above: The giraffe approaches me when she sees I have a handful of delicious leaves for her.

above: Soon she was munching on the leaves, and another giraffe cozied up for a snack too.

above: Here is a mama and baby giraffe, relaxing on a nice sunny day. They were so cool. It was a real treat to be so close to these magnificent creatures.
Thanks for stopping by today, please come back again tomorrow for more exciting animals!
-Rick Rockhill


lime said...

oh wow, what a fun opportunity! i would have loved to feed the giraffes. i do remember seeing a couple of baby giraffes playing and chasing each other at the phila zoo. it was quite a sight.

Sheila said...

I am so impressed with the work your company chooses to support. Kudos!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

oh rick, they really are cute!!!

smiles, bee

Anonymous said...

That's so cool. You got to feed a giraffe! WOW!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

How wonderful to be that close-up-and-personal to these Magnifent Animals. I have a great great friend who LOVES Giraffes....I nust tell him this place. I think he would be in Hoggity Heaven to be that close to his very favorite Animal

Nice to know that Petco does such wonderful things, Rick.

kenju said...

I would love to have been there! I didn't know they could be so tame as to eat from your hands.

W.O.T.E. said...

I love that park - better than any zoo I've been in. Cannot believe Goldy lived in SD and never went. Got to feed the giraffes here are Busch Gardens - same style as what they do at the animal park. Funny that they had black tounges so as not to get sunburned!

Desert Songbird said...

My daughter LOVES giraffes; I'll have to show her these photos.

This is one SD attraction we've not yet visited. Maybe next time.

Olivia said...

I think gentle animals with big eyes and long eyelashes are very appealing to us.

Yadira (San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park) said...

Rick we're glad to see you enjoyed your visit to the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park and that you came away with some great photos. Did you notice that not only is their tongue really long but the first half is black while the rest is pink? It is thought that the first part may be black to keep it from being sun burned while they eat all day! Have a wonderful weekend.

Tea N. Crumpet said...

I love giraffes. Thank you for the pictures.

WAT said...

Giraffes are great. Thanks for this sweet post. I love animals for their purity of heart.


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