Surprises in the Park

Griftpark Giraffe
I’ll give you a moment to think about what it is you’re seeing. It’s certainly not the usual cat or architecture I typically post.
Griftpark Giraffe
Yup. It’s a giraffe! A very real giraffe currently hanging out in the nearby Griftpark. The park does have a small petting zoo of sorts for children, but this is definitely not part of that menagerie. In fact, it’s part of a circus that is set up in the park this week.

I admit, I’m not a fan of large animals in circuses; there have been too many sad stories. But when an actual giraffe is hanging out in the park I’ve visited many times, I simply can’t resist going to see it for myself.

I’ve seen giraffes in person before and certainly on tv, but seeing one this close and getting to notice the details took me back to my childhood, when I pored over photos of all sorts of wild animals. This giraffe’s coloring is beautiful. I love the almost starburst-like dark centers of some of the “patches”. I also love the beautifully long eyelashes. For what it’s worth, though, it was the size of the feet were what stood out to me the most. Those suckers are big! The photo doesn’t even begin to do them justice.
Griftpark Giraffe
Griftpark Giraffe
Griftpark Giraffe
Griftpark Giraffe
Griftpark Giraffe

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10 thoughts on “Surprises in the Park

  1. What a gorgeous animal, but how strange to see it in that setting! I admired the giraffes in Artis Zoo last year, they have the most beautiful eyes and eyelashes. Love how they used one of the lamp posts as a temporary high-up feeding device šŸ™‚

  2. Circus animals are pretty sad to see though, generally. Especially the larger “wildlife”. I remember the only elephant I ever saw up close, it was in a travelling circus in Eindhoven and it was chained to a tree with one of its hind legs. It could hardly move around and watching it made me incredibly sad. It was amazing to be able to come so close though, I could literally stroke its trunk. Still, not a fan of the circus.

  3. This is just too cool for words. I love watching giraffes drink water – such a complex and simple thing for such a tall animal. We’ve been to the Beekse Bergen Safaripark a few times and the giraffes there are so curious. They just walk up to any vehicles coming through. I have no idea if they would be so inquisitive in their natural environment.
    And I agree with the other comments about circuses. Hopefully this guy is treated better than most.

  4. How wonderful! It reminds me of one of Annie M.G. Schmidt’s poems for children: Dikkertje Dap. It’s about a little boy who gets on top of a really tall ladder to chat with a giraffe. Don’t ask; it’s how her poems are. I knew that poem (and song) by heart at age four. I would’ve been thrilled to then see a real live giraffe in the park!

    • How funny, I loved that little song too as a child (it’s very well-known to Dutch children, or at least it used to be), but only now remembered because of your comment šŸ™‚

      This is how I remember it:

      Dikkertje Dap (Dikkertje translates a bit like Fattie btw)
      klom op de trap (climbed up the ladder)
      ‘s morgens vroeg om kwart over zeven (early in the morning at a quarter past seven)
      om de giraf een klontje te geven (to give the giraffe a little lump (of sugar))
      “Dag giraffe”, zei Dikkertje Dap (“hello giraffe”, said Dikkertje Dap)
      morgen kom ik toch weer hier met de trap! (tomorrow morning I’ll be here again with the ladder)

      Annie M.G. Schmidt’s stories and rhymes are wonderful. We all grew up on them!

      • Just remembered the rest, I totally forgot the best bit where Dikkertje Dap uses the giraffe’s neck as a slide and slides all the way down to the tip of its tail (and then lands on his bum on the floor) šŸ™‚ Just Google “Dikkertje Dap giraf” (or giraffe) if you’re interested in the whole thing.

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