I have gone to the zoo in as many places that I’ve traveled as possible. It started with my first foreign location – Paris.
I was inadvertently spoiled when it came to zoos simply by being born where I was. Our zoo is called “the world-famous San Diego Zoo.” I figured it was hyperbole, like being called “America’s finest city.” Um, no. Our zoo really is spectacular.
When I started walking around the Parc Zoologique de Paris, I instantly knew I wasn’t in Kansas any more.
It reminded me of the older sections of our zoo, with concrete enclosures. It made me sad at first, but it soon got better.
This trip was in winter. Being a Southern California girl, it never dawned on me that the zoo experience might change based on season. Seasons matter in other parts of the world. At the Paris zoo, for example, there was a winter barn for the African animals. It instantly made sense; I had never thought about it before.
When I entered the barn, I looked up, and there were giraffe heads.
They were adorable! I walked up to the glass and reached up towards them. The male in the picture above bent his neck over. I felt his breath on my hand. I was so excited! Then he licked me. Oh. My. Goodness. In case you didn’t know it, giraffe tongues are black and incredibly long. That was amazing! Like a little kid, I didn’t want to wash the giraffe spit off my hand. I cherished it!
I don’t really remember what happened at the zoo after that. The giraffe was definitely the highlight of the trip.
Does your hometown zoo have winter barns for the animals? Or Has anyone else been licked by a zoo animal?