Olympic fever hits giraffe house

As the Olympic spirit grips the nation, giraffe keepers are competing in their own novel sporting event – lucerne throwing.

lucerne_comp1   The fiercely competitive keepers have been practising their skills at flicking wads of the clover-like plant from a pitchfork into male giraffe, Kubwa’s, feeding bowl located 15 feet above the ground.   lucerne_comp1   It has become a matter of manly pride to master the skill, which is part of the ungulate keepers’ job during the daily feeding routine of the site’s three rare Rothschilds giraffes.   Assistant Curator, Richard Brown, explained that several keepers were now taking part in the daily sport.   lucerne_comp1  lucerne_comp1  

lucerne_comp1CAPTIONS: Jay and Richard go head to head in the lucerne throwing contest.

BELOW: Girls allowed: Keeper Laura Robbins tries her hand at the lofty challenge.

He said:?”We feed the giraffes lucerne from 25kg bales, so we toss it up into their feeding baskets using a pitchfork. There has been an ongoing contest to hone our skills, particularly between me and keeper, Jay Haywood.   “Practice makes perfect and we’re getting better at it every day – it’s a handy skill to have when feeding giraffes.   “However, we do have a young female giraffe called Josie whose feeding basket is much lower down, so we use that as our ‘practice rack’.”   lucerne_comp1  lucerne_comp1