Giraffes have sticky tongues

Face to face with monkeys and giraffes

The giraffe slowly lowers its head. Then she sticks out her long tongue, carefully reads the food from the palm of her hand and even lets herself be petted briefly. Visitors to the Jaderpark usually don't get that close to the animals. But in a “NZ + Ich” campaign with head animal keeper Christoph Thien, 31 readers of NORDSEE-ZEITUNG were allowed to pamper selected animals with delicacies.

The giraffes usually eat alfalfa, dried raspberry leaves or vegetables. For small portions of their special muesli, however, the otherwise shy animals especially like to stretch their heads over the fence. “They have a really sticky tongue,” says Jolina, while her giraffe “Sawadi” picks the protein-rich concentrate from her hands. “It's really nice that they come so close,” says the twelve-year-old and laughs.

Friend Joelina, on the other hand, prefers to keep her distance: "I'm a little scared because they are so big," reveals the ten-year-old. Later she prefers to cuddle with kids and lambs. “We come here more often, but to experience the animals up close is something very special,” says Martin Schneider, who looks after the girls as a volunteer “mitKids” sponsor: “Today's excursion is an experience for all of us,” says Schneider convinced. Also because head animal keeper Christoph Thien and his colleagues provided the visitors with extensive background knowledge.
Normally, Peggy and Ferdinand like to be petted: “Sometimes they even fall over with enthusiasm,” reveals their zookeeper. But when the NZ readers visit, nothing of the tapirs can be seen far and wide: “They don't really like the dreary weather” - and therefore prefer to doze in the warm stable.

The lively capuchin monkeys are completely different: “They are real little clowns,” explains Christoph Thien, while the monkeys nudge him again and again and loudly ask him to finally hand out the delicacies. Feeding the monkeys is not entirely harmless: "These are cheeky little thieves," warns Thien. In fact, the animals have already stolen several cell phones and glasses. This time, however, they only have one thing in mind: mealworms!

“The monkeys are great! They take the food out of their hands very carefully, ”says Berit and is amazed at the soft paws. Marleen (8) and grandmother Petra Theuring are not very enthusiastic about the preferences of the cute little animals: “At first I really had to bring myself to distribute the mealworms. But it was a wonderful experience. "(Nz)