Giraffe Feeding at the Diane and Hal Brierley Giraffe Ridge
Tall and proud, the giraffes at Giants of the Savanna are not above looking for a “handout” – especially when it contains a fresh green leaf of romaine lettuce. The Diane and Hal Brierley Giraffe Ridge offers a fun animal encounter at the Dallas Zoo as guests can choose to feed the animals when they gaze eye-to-eye with the tallest animal on land.
The long-legged herbivores eat a variety of fruit and vegetables — from alfalfa, grain, and fruit to the leaves from branches collected at the Zoo. Large males can eat up to 75 pounds of food in a single day. Guests shouldn’t fear feeding them — giraffes don’t bite in defense, and the only risk to humans is a firm tug from prehensile tongues when food isn’t released promptly.
When they are not out on the savanna, the giraffes reside in a very tall 9,000-square-foot barn. The facility features a sophisticated giraffe restraint device (GRD) to hold them safely in place while zookeepers and veterinarians monitor and maintain the health of the herd by measuring their weights, caring for hooves, taking x-rays, providing ultrasounds, giving injections, and more.
Giraffe feeding etiquette:
1. Do not feed the giraffes food from your own home. They are on a strict diet.
2. Be gentle if you want to pet the giraffes. They’re very touchy about being touched.
3. Watch your personal belongings. Giraffes are not trained to fetch.
Feel free to give a hand to the herd of giraffes – even better if it contains a cracker or fresh piece of lettuce.