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Feeding Giraffes at Woodland Park Zoo | Don't Ever Look Back

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Feeding Giraffes at Woodland Park Zoo

Feeding Giraffes at Woodland Park Zoo

When visiting Santa Barbara Zoo in 2009, we discovered that they offered giraffe feedings twice a day. Unfortunately for the two of us, we arrived late in the afternoon and missed the second feeding session by only a few minutes.

So after deciding to revisit the United States on our round-the-world trip, feeding a giraffe was one of the must-do things on Amy’s 25 Before 25 List. We did our research prior to departure and found that Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle offered a Giraffe Feeding Experience over the summer months.

Since Seattle was our first destination on the US mainland, we knew that Woodland Park Zoo was where we had to tick this off the bucket list.

Woodland Park Zoo Seattle

Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle

Woodland Park Zoo is located approximately 5 miles north of downtown Seattle and is easily accessible by car, bike or public transport. We took the Metro Bus which dropped us off directly in front of the zoo and the two of us hurried inside for the scheduled giraffe feeding session.

We were 30 minutes early but already a small line was starting to form outside the African Savanna, indicating just how popular the giraffe feedings are here. So we joined the queue and waited for what seemed an eternity (excitement does that to you!) until finally our group of 10 were ushered onto a raised feeding platform within the giraffe enclosure.

We were soon greeted by Chioke, a male Reticulated Giraffe standing nearly 17 feet tall.

Chioke was a hungry giraffe

Chioke was a hungry giraffe!

Zookeeper Peggy handed out green leaves to everybody in the group and each person took their turn to feed Chioke while she answered questions and gave us interesting giraffe facts. Since feeding a giraffe was Amy’s bucket list item, she was the first to feed this beautiful animal and Chioke went straight for her leaves with his giant 18-inch tongue.

Amy feeding Chioke

Amy feeding Chioke.

Kieron was the next up to feed him, but Chioke didn’t want any part of these measly leaves – just check out the giraffe’s reaction!



Luckily every group member were given two opportunities to feed the giraffes and the second set of vegetation Kieron received was much more appealing to Chioke. He was more than happy to munch these leaves down!

Much better!

Much better!

For $5 per person, this was a fun experience for anybody that loves giraffes and if you’ve got children with you they will just adore it. The whole encounter lasted for about 10 minutes (much longer than we expected!) and is something we’d be happy to do again!

Disclaimer: We received complimentary admission from Woodland Park Zoo. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.


  1. Posted October 6, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Hope you had fun in the U.S., too bad we couldn’t meet on the So Cal leg of your journey, but I’m sure we’ll cross paths somewhere in the world.
    Chris recently posted..Thailand Transportation Options Part 2

    • Posted October 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Had a great time in the US – finishing up our time here in New York City, perfect place to end this leg of our journey. I’m sure we’ll cross somewhere sooner or later!

  2. Posted October 7, 2011 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    I’m so jealous! Feeding a giraffe is something on my bucket list too. I would love to get up close to one.

    • Posted October 8, 2011 at 3:30 am | Permalink

      It seems like there are quite a few zoos across the United States that allow you to feed a giraffe. Hope you can make it happen soon! 🙂

  3. Jess
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I fed the giraffes at the Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo – they were adorable. The zoo’s definitely worth a visit when you get back from your RTW adventure. You can stay overnight inside the zoo and get woken up in the morning by the sound of the monkeys. It was awesome!

    • Posted October 8, 2011 at 3:32 am | Permalink

      Oh nice! I visited that zoo in Dubbo when I was much younger but didn’t get to have that experience. What does that cost?

      I’m pretty sure they have something similar at the Werribee Zoo in Victoria too!

    • Jess
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      From memory it’s $5 on top of your zoo admission but if you stay overnight at the zoo it’s included. Staying at the zoo was a bit pricey but it does include 3 behind the scenes type tours, all your food, zoo admission etc so I would say it’s worth it 🙂

  4. Posted October 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Sad we missed you two in Seattle! We would have loved to meet up. We absolutely love the Woodland Park Zoo and are actually planning a trip there next week. Glad you had a great time!

    • Posted October 8, 2011 at 3:33 am | Permalink

      Ahh damn, we had no idea you two were in Seattle! That’s good to hear you’re visiting WPZ next week – unfortunately the giraffe feeding programs wrapped up there a couple of weeks ago though.

  5. Posted October 12, 2011 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    What an awesome experience.. So funny that Chioke rejected Kieron’s leaves at first! Haha! Definitely adding this one to our list. Glad you are enjoying your USA trip… too bad we couldn’t meet up with you guys. Next time for sure 🙂

    • Posted October 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Haha they were some measly leaves and the photo captures it so well! There are plenty of zoos that do it from what we’ve seen so look around and hopefully you can find one that’s close. 🙂

      Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of the USA that we need to see so we’ll be back one day. Otherwise, there’s always room for you to hang out with us on the Mornington Peninsula!

  6. Posted October 21, 2011 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    Great experience. And one that can only be done at a zoo! haha. Thanks for sharing really enjoyed.
    Jeremy recently posted..Fires Kill Wildlife at Etosha National Park – October 2011

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