Looking for a zoo or aquarium to explore near you? What kid doesn’t love getting up close and personal with a gray wolf, black bear, a giant shark, or a creepy tarantula? Which is why you might be thinking, “where are all the zoos and aquariums near me?” If you live near Upstate, SC, you’ve found the list you’re looking for.
Families can check out all of those animals and more with the many zoos, nature centers, and aquariums all within a two-and-a-half-hour drive or less from Greenville, SC. This list includes zoos and aquariums in Greenville, SC, Columbia, SC, Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC, and Western North Carolina.
Get up close and personal with giraffes at the Greenville Zoo in Greenville, SC with their new feeding platform, expected to be finished by early summer.
Ever wanted to feed a giraffe and get a selfie in front of the cool creatures? You’ll be able to do that soon at our very own Greenville Zoo. Thanks to private donations, the Jim and Janice Cordes Giraffe Encounters should be finished by early May but won’t open to the public until the early summer. Don’t worry, we’ll let you know as soon as it is open to the public.
The Giraffe Feeding Platform
Visitors will be able to walk up a concrete ramp and, with the help of a zookeeper, feed the giraffes by hand. Giraffes are the tallest living animal on Earth, reaching heights between 14-19 feet tall. And they are herbivores, which means guests don’t need to worry about handling raw meat when feeding them!
The giraffes will get some tasty leaves or biscuits from guests who make use of the feeding platform when they visit the Zoo.
“It’s going to bring lots of children who are going to find that to be a lot of fun,” said Jim Cordes, one of the lead donors. “And they’ll bring their parents and their grandparents, and it will not only bring people to the zoo but to Greenville.”
The project budget was around $400,000 and was paid for by private donations.
The Giraffe Feeding Experience
Feeding the giraffes will be an extra cost to visitors who want to purchase leaves or biscuits to give to the animals. We don’t have those costs yet.
Even though the platform is expected to be completed in early May, the zookeepers need time to acclimate the giraffes to the new thing in their lives.
“Giraffes are a little timid,” said Zoo Director Bill Cooper. “They’ll see this new thing out in their exhibit and they’ll gently explore it at first and then eventually get used to it. We hope to complete training and have them ready to interact with the public in June.”
The zoo is currently home to Masai giraffes Miles and Autumn, who are part of the Species Survival Program. Many baby giraffes have been born at the Zoo in the past ten years, including Kiko, Kellen and Providence.