Just a few brief words about this photo (because I just can’t let this one go wordless…):
I both love and hate this photo at the same time. I love it for the fearless and curious nature of the giraffe, who is sticking his head into someone’s car window. At the same time, I hate it because this picture was taken in New Jersey. Yes, you are correct in thinking that giraffes do not live in New Jersey, at least not by choice. This was taken at the Great Adventure Drive-Through Safari, where wild animals are kept in captivity so people can drive by and see the wonder of these animals up close. I had recalled going there as a child and wanted my own kids to experience the excitement of having a wild animal walk right up to your car.
However, I regretted taking my kids the instant we got there. And I hope that place shuts down in the near future. Many of the people in the cars were throwing inappropriate food (such as french fries) for these animals to eat, even though the signs explicitly say not to feed the animals. I always have a love-hate relationship with zoos and places like this because on the one hand, I adore animals and love seeing them up close, but on the other hand, I abhor seeing animals kept in sub-optimal conditions. Certain zoos have the underlying mission to preserve these species and have breeding and conservation programs in place. Those I’m pretty much okay with. The other zoos, where the animals are behind bars and not receiving the proper care, I wish they would close down — today. And don’t even get me started on circuses with animals….