Ben Parkinson column: The day I was dribbled on by a giraffe

Ben Parkinson feeding the giraffes at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Ben Parkinson feeding the giraffes at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park
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I have had such a great weekend.

On Saturday I was very lucky to have a ticket to see England play Wales at Twickenham.

After the way that they dumped us out of the World Cup this was definitely a grudge match!

I love watching matches at Twickenham.

I find that it really is totally different to a football match.

There is very little separation between the supporters but never any trouble.

It’s funny that when they play as British Lions it’s one team and we love them all, but when we are in white shirts and they are in red it’s war.

I was sitting in the wheelchair gallery at ground level.

It meant that I was right behind the Welsh posts, so I saw all the action.

There were several injured lads there, all old friends.

We were very confident at half time.

There was lots of ribbing about St George having slaughtered the dragons.

But how things changed.

It was a great game, and at the end we got the only result that would do, England won the match.

Bragging rights are ours, at least until next time the teams meet.

Then on Sunday I went with a friend and her family to one of my favourite ever places.

That is the Yorkshire Wildlife Park at Branton in Doncaster.

I go quite often.

It’s grown so much since it first opened.

There is always something new to see.

Well this time I was very lucky to get the chance to feed the animals.

The lions and tigers we fed with raw red meat using long tongs.

I was surprised at how close we were allowed to get to the animals.

I’d thought it would be a case of throwing great lumps of meat over the fence, but this way you can make sure that everyone gets their share.

Then it was on to my favourites, the giraffes.

It always amazes me that they have the longest bright blue tongues. I know it’s so that they can reach up into the trees but I would like to know where do they put it when their mouth closes?

The tongue causes another problem.

I was feeding them branches which they obviously really liked because they started to drool, and I mean really slobber!

When it started to drip off my hair and down my neck I decided that it was time to wheel away!

I think we should be very proud to have such an amazing place as the Yorkshire Wildlife Park here in Doncaster.

And I’m looking forward to making lots of visits in the summer.