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Hello Hillsboro: Dinner with giraffe really a tall order
hand feeding giraffe
Hillsboro Sentry Enterprise Associate Editor Jack Knowles watches as a giraffe is hand fed during a visit to the Columbus Zoo last week. - photo by Contributed/Jack Knowles

 Jane and I spent the last week in Columbus, Ohio, visiting daughter Beth, son-in-law Nate and grandsons Sawyer and Oliver.

We had a wonderful family reunion, but the highlight of it all was the old man actually feeding a giraffe!

The event happened at Jack Hanna’s Columbus Zoo after a tiring but educational and fun-filled day of visiting the various creatures.

Until we came to the giraffe feeding station, I never even dreamed that I would actually hand-feed a huge giraffe. But it happened. Sawyer, Oliver and I all agreed to do it when Beth offered to pay for the experience.

I thought this will never happen because there is no way that beast would put his huge head down by me and the kids.

Surprise, all he did was walk over to a wall where we were safely waiting on a high walkway.

I was more concerned than the kids who, no doubt, had done it before. When the friendly looking giant turned to me and stuck out a truly gigantic tongue, he actually proved to be quite friendly to a perfect stranger.

I’m not sure if that would be the case without the lettuce!

Recently I read that a lady zoo visitor got a bad kick from a giraffe after she invaded his area trying to feed him. She should go to Columbus and try it the right way.

This marvelous zoo also has a feature attraction where labs and cheetahs run and play together on the same field. It’s unbelievable, but I guess an intelligent animal can be trained to do almost anything …although I have to speculate on the intelligence of the labs.

No doubt those speedy cats are well fed …and not with dog meat!

Nate and Beth have been dues paying members of the Columbus Zoo Club for years and never tire of visiting their wild friends. I really enjoyed the entire day and feel like we made a few new furry friends.

By the way, the Buckeyes lost a home game while we were in town, and I swear the sidewalks actually cried along with all the hopelessly wandering Ohio State fans.

We kept our mouths shut, but Nate had just a tiny smile while thinking of his beloved Badgers.