Giraffe Surprises South African Diners by Strolling Into Restaurant

Talk about an uninvited dinner guest.
Feb 4, 2014·
Salvatore Cardoni holds a political science degree from the George Washington University. He's written about all things environment since 2007.

A giraffe walks into a restaurant—it may sound like a sorry setup for one of Dad’s lamer jokes, but it’s actually the beginning of a true story.

Last September at the Lion Park animal sanctuary in Johannesburg, South Africa, a 20-foot-tall giraffe named Perdy surprised visitors by striding into an open-air restaurant.

Seemingly unimpressed, Perdy slowed her long gait only to sniff a potted plant before nonchalantly moseying on through a side exit. She ignored both the patrons and the food. (Gives new meaning to the term “high horse,” eh?)

“How can you explain this to someone,” a woman in the video can be heard asking a fellow patron. “It’s not the same thing as saying, ‘Oh, the giraffe was in the restaurant.’ ”

A sanctuary for species such as lions, zebras, antelope, and giraffes, Lion Park is a member of the African Association of Zoos and Aquaria, meaning it is an “effective and trusted center of animal welfare, conservation, education, research and service.”

The giraffe walk-through shouldn’t be all that surprising, given the park’s policy of allowing its herbivores to roam freely. Fear not: The sanctuary’s lions, cheetahs, and wild dogs are kept separate from the tourists and each other by a series of barriers and fences.

Good thing too. That would be a whole other kind of dining experience.