LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Giraffes are the world’s tallest mammals, but their height won’t keep you from getting up-close and personal with them at the Louisville Zoo. To learn a little bit more about these long-legged creatures, we went to visit Baridi, one of the zoo's giraffes, and spoke to Curator Michael Johnson.

RH: So Mike, this is a friendly guy--he's coming up and saying hi, but he's just kind of curious is what you were saying about him.

MJ: He is. But this is a bull giraffe...He's about three-and-a-half years old. He's a friendly, loveable animal but at the same time, this head can be like a weapon for him. So, these males will swing these heads into each other. And so, us being men here, he's smelling us and he's saying, ‘Hey you're in my space.’

RH: We're challengers.

MJ: Yes, we can be. For him, we potentially can be.

Baridi the giraffe

RH: Giraffes are one of the animals here at the zoo where people can come up and feed them.  You have food you can give them. So, what is it like for a curator to be working with animals that are going to be more up close with people?

MJ: We do a giraffe feed here twice a day. We have two females and we have the male. This is one of those situations where it's like you just have to be aware that this is a big large animal

RH: In general, though, they are friendly? They like coming up and meeting humans?

MJ: Yeah, he's very social. He just likes people. He hangs out here a lot during the day and he tries to socialize.

Baridi the giraffe

RH: What's a cool fact about giraffes that you think would surprise people as they learned about them?

MJ: Well, obviously they're the largest--or the tallest, I should say--land animal; but, if you look at that neck, same number of bones as our neck. Just much larger bones.”

Giraffes like Baridi are just one of the animals that you can see at the Louisville Zoo. For more information on admission, hours, and more, just visit the Louisville Zoo website.


Contact reporter Rob Harris at rjharris@whas11.com. Follow him on Twitter (@robharristv) and Facebook

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