To continue our efforts to experience the Tampa area as much as possible while we’re here, we went on a Jeep tour of a local game farm, focused on conserving animals (we made sure of that after our dolphin cruise). This farm, at approximately 400 acres, is home to a number of exotic animals with most notably being the farm’s namesake, GIRAFFES!!!
The Giraffe Ranch owners are avid travelers, having made over 30 trips to Africa to find animals that they believe would do well in the central Floridian climate. There were a lot more animals living happily that we didn’t expect to see: camels, pygmy hippos, ring-tailed lemurs, zebras, warthogs and an impala.
Fun fact of the day: the oldest fossils of camels have been found in Wyoming! Scientists believe these desert-dwellers roamed north, crossed the Bering Strait, wandered through present-day Russia and parts of Asia, before finding the comforts of home in the arid regions of the Middle East.
Oh, and another fun fact (this one will be for tomorrow, as the fact above is for today!): when a zebra and donkey mate, the infertile offspring is one of two species – a donkra or a zedonk. The cute, little guy seen below is a donkra (where the stallion is a donkey and the mare is a zebra). Zedonks are created when the stallion is a zebra and the mare is a donkey. Do you feel smarter now? 🙂
The highlight of the excursion, though, was undoubtedly being able to hand feed the giraffes. We were given branches of live oak, and with their big, blue-black tongues, these long-necked creatures grabbed their food. It was amazing! Our guide also gave us leaves of cabbage, and Mindy had a giraffe eating out of the palms of her hands! 🙂
We also saw animals more commonly seen on the North American continent: cows, donkeys, turkeys, ostriches.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience! If you ever find yourself in the Tampa area, we highly recommend Giraffe Ranch.
Until our next adventure, take care!
Ligeia and Mindy 🙂 🙂
4 thoughts on “Our Adventure to Giraffe Ranch!”
I love the Donkra! It looks like he's got cool socks on!
Tymon & Pumba! The lemurs & warthogs remind me of the Lion King. Very nice.
I'm going to the Giraffe Ranch in a couple of weeks and thought I'd do my research beforehand by reading blogs about it. Any advice for the best experience possible? Is there a “better” side of the truck, for instance? I'm trying to be shrewd about it so I can maximize my Giraffe Time.
Seeing those lemurs made me think of Madagascar, my niece’s favorite animated film! Animals have their own way of entertaining humans, especially with the way they stare. It’s as if they are trying to communicate with us telepathically. It’s wonderful that you were able to enjoy your day on the ranch!