Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor Feeds April the Giraffe!

April the giraffe 2

Some of you may have eagerly awaited the birth of a baby giraffe by following that live feed video on Facebook a few months ago.

Well, we are fortunate to live only about an hour from where Tajiri (the baby giraffe) and his mother April live at Animal Adventure Park!

I had been sooo wanting to take Bethany there, but was hesitant to do so what with my broken shoulder and arthritic hips and knees!

Not only I was worried I wouldn’t be able to walk through the park, I was also worried that Malcolm and I might not be able to handle Bethany there by ourselves.
April the giraffe 1Still without an aide for Bethany and with summer coming to a close, I was desperate to get her there, but was worried we wouldn’t be able to pull it off!

When Rachel and Rebekah expressed interest in going, I took knew we’d be able to go!

I would have preferred taking Bethany there during the week so it wouldn’t be so crowded, but If I waited for Malcolm’s vacation Rachel would be in Japan and Rebekah would be back at school

We finally decided upon a Sunday that was good for all of us and off we went!

Bethany was in a great mood when the big day arrived!

That’s always a plus!

Still, I was a bit nervous about my ability to navigate through the park and that it would be so crowded it would be unenjoyable for Bethany.

However, upon arrival to our destination we were all pleasantly surprised at how small and uncrowded it really was!

For some reason, I had been expecting the place to be huge like the Syracuse Zoo, which might have been overwhelming for all of us.

But Animal Adventure Park turned out to be just the right size for all of us to enjoy strolling through with relative ease and it wasn’t crowded at all!

We did have to wait in line for about ten minutes to get in and then again to feed April, but Bethany handled the waiting well!

Bethany thoroughly enjoyed seeing all her favorite animals.

She was thrilled to find all the animals she had been hoping to see.

She had been hoping to see a camel, giraffe, zebra, and goats and see them she did, along with lots of other cool animals as well!

But feeding April the giraffe was definitely the highpoint of her visit!

In fact, I think being able to pet and feed just about every animal there is what made Bethany’s visit so enjoyable.

At every other zoo she’s been to, she has not been able to pet or feed any animal other than the goats and sheep!

girl feeding a giraffe girl petting a camel

I was impressed with the little building that was set aside as a quiet refuge for children with sensory needs, nursing mothers and diaper changes.

Although it might not be so quiet of a place when babies are having their diapers changed, the fact that the needs of children with disabilities were even thought about is awesome!

I did have a little trouble walking back out of the park as it is situated on a bit of an incline.

However, I’m happy to say that slowly but surely, I made climbed my way back to the car!

So, all in all our experience at Animal Adventure Park was an awesomely huge success!

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