A zoo in Illinois lets you get up close to its adorable giraffes as they nibble on leaves.

The Peoria Zoo allows visitors to experience what it's like to feed giraffes as they stretch their long tongues in search of food.

How To Feed Giraffes At The Zoo

The Peoria Zoo, 2320 North Prospect Road, is home to three giraffes as part of its Africa exhibit. The sprawling enclosure also includes zebras, a rhinoceros and several other creatures surrounded by winding walking paths.

Trek up the wooden walkway and you will find windows that allow you to peek down at the towering giraffes.

Walk a little bit more down the path and you will end up at a viewing platform that puts you nearly eye-to-eye with the giraffes

The Peoria Zoo allows visitors two opportunities each day to lineup along the platform and feed the hungry giraffes a variety of leaves and twigs for $5. Feedings are scheduled at noon and 2 pm.

What Is It Like To Feed A Giraffe?

The first thing you need to know is giraffes have ridiculously long tongues. Even though you read that here, you still won't be prepared as it darts toward your hand.

For our $5, we were provided a handful of lettuce leaves to hold in front of our hungry giraffe buddy.

Rob Carroll photo
Rob Carroll photo

No matter how you hold the lettuce leaf in your hand, you should expect to feel the giraffe's rough tongue slide across your fingers.

It's startling at first, but you soon realize this is what makes the experience so unique.

Giraffe kisses not your thing? The zoo also can give you a leafy twig to hold out at a distance to feed the giraffe.

According to the Peoria Zoo's website, their giraffes also enjoy apples, carrots, bananas and alfalfa hay throughout the day.

Judging by the line of people waiting to feed them trio during a recent weekend, the giraffes will continue to be well-fed.

The Peoria Zoo is open 10 am to 5 pm daily. Admission is $11.50 for adults, $8.25 for ages 2-12 and free for ages 1 and younger.

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