This is what I learned from my recent visit to the Rochester Fair: Mouth-to-mouth, human-to-giraffe contact is so common that it warrants the professional printing of signs to warn the public.
The dire warning begs the question – Just who are these people who want to have a “Lady and the Tramp” moment with a wild animal they just met seconds earlier?
In any case, I’m squeamish about having a giant tongue cover even my hand in giraffe saliva, so I’m leaving the feeding to others.
But record-breaking carrot sales aside, I do wonder why the carnival just won’t let these majestic animals eat without having to touch all those dirty human hands. Who knows where they’ve been.
(On a somewhat related note, here’s a fascinating Slate commentary arguing that zoo lions and tigers should be fed animal carcasses instead of processed meat.)