I’ve been a Zoo Friends member at Perth Zoo for about 6 years but until recently hadn’t really thought about doing one of the Close Encounter experiences.
We went to the zoo midweek and it seemed really quiet so I thought I would try my luck and see if there were any spots available for the giraffe close encounter. I got lucky and booked online for 11.00am that morning.
We met the friendly volunteer, and our small group of others doing the encounter, at the meeting point and were taken through to the “behind the scenes” area. There we met another couple of volunteers who explained the experience to us.
We were then lead up some stairs to a platform that sits to the side of the giraffe enclosure. The stairs mean that this encounter isn’t accessible for wheelchairs or prams.
The view from the platform is great, it was really cool to see the enclosure from a different viewpoint.
Almost as soon as we were up there the male giraffe, Armani, came over. We were each given branches to hold out and Armani walked along eating each of them. I was surprised by the force that he pulled at! If we didn’t keep a strong grip the branches would be ripped out of our hand so fast! I had to hold onto the branch along with my 4 year old to help her keep old if it.
If you manage to keep a hold of your branch, Armani will stand there and take the time to pull each of the leaves off with his tongue.
The experience is 15 minutes long and throughout the volunteers offer interesting facts and answer questions. We also got lucky in that there wasn’t anyone booked into the session after so we were given a bit of extra time.
This was honestly such an incredible experience and one both me and 4 year old absolutely loved! I’d absolutely do this again.
The giraffe close encounter is only $12 per person and available to kids from just 2 years old. Plan ahead and book online to avoid missing out as I believe the sessions are usually booked out!
To find out how you can book a Close Encounter at Perth Zoo visit perthzoo.wa.gov.au/close-encounters
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