Eddie the Girraffe

She was tall and beautiful. We met and kissed her on the first date. It was love at first sight. She was very graceful and friendly. Her name is Eddie. She is a giraffe. We got very close to her, touched her head and even kissed her. Unlike Eddie, some giraffes are bullies. They can be hostile. There were warning signs alerting visitors to beware of head butts and not to climb on the barrier. We saw some giraffe bones and skulls on display in the hall. They were huge and heavy. We were told that an adult giraffe’s kick can kill a lion. Now imagine being hit by one. Eddie was cool.

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She is one of the giraffes at the conservancy. Her sub-species, the Rothschild giraffe, is endangered and was rescued from extinction. They can now be found in very few places in the world. There are only about 700 more of them left in the wild. Compared to other giraffe sub-species, they have bright, more regular shaped patches which end at the knees.They have white fur in between the patches and completely below the knees.This looks like white socks on their legs

Eddie had pretty brown spots all over her body. Up to he knees. Her legs were strong, long and white.She walked majestically to where we were standing. She enjoyed eating pellets from the palms of our hands. I offered to give her a pellet (provided by one of the educators at the facility) from my lips. Her lips almost brushed mine as she licked the piece of food away. We actually got to feed the giraffes from our lips as we experienced the thrill of almost kissing them.

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I first saw giraffes at Nakuru National Park in 2008 and was very fascinated by their unique walking style. They don’t walk lazily like cows or most other animals. They move the two limbs on one side of their body together and then the other pair together. Like a well choreographed move. It makes for very interesting viewing. I was keen to watch them gallop around.

We thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the long necked and now apparently long tongued animals at Giraffe Centre in Nairobi.There are also warthogs, other small animals and species of birds to see at the centre. You can buy artifacts, souvenirs and even books at the little curio shop. We took a guided walk down the nature trail at the hundred acre sanctuary to the banks of a river. It was like an adventure in the jungle. It is hard to imagine that this natural forest and habitat of wildlife is just several miles away from the urban sky scrappers that dominate the Nairobi skyline. There is a hotel up the road where you can dine as giraffes look at you from just outside the window.

Every evening, Eddie and her relatives are taken across the road into the open but fenced sanctuary for the night.  They have the luxury of feeding, sleeping and mating in their natural habitat. In the morning, they go back where they will meet more visitors today. It was nice meeting Eddie.