¿Who could have told the Zoo Aquarium de Madrid caretakers that las April 1st they would be hosting such an animal-lover for a visit?
Valentina is a 4-year-old girl who, thanks to the Parques Reunidos Foundation and to Pequeño Deseo, has travelled from Zaragoza to Madrid to meet her favorite animals: the giraffes. With her parents, Patricia and Rubén, Valentina visited the Zoo de Madrid. She was able to interact not only with her beloved giraffes, but also with other animals. She was delighted by the flamingos, owls, dolphins… even small goats!
As soon as she walked into the Zoo, she couldn’t stop running around with excitement. Valentina is energetic and won’t be discouraged by hardship because she enjoys doing what she’s passionate about.
Starting past the Zoo’s gate, Valentina inmediately spotted the the flamingos. Their pink feathers fascinated the young girl. Then, with the Zoo’s caretakers‘ help, she could get much closer to them!
Valentina’s visit wasn’t just -quite literally- a walk in the park. Rather, it was an interactive and educational journey to meet all kinds of animals and learn new things about them. Evidently, this wasn’t at all difficult for such a curious and excited girl.
Later on, like many other visistors at the Zoo, Valentina and her family enjoyed the free-flight shows with exotic birds and birds of prey. During these sessions, bird caretakers explain the characteristics of each species: where they are originally from, what are their physical features, what they feed on, how they live and which are the threats they face in the wild.
This experience was even more special for Valentina and her family, because they were able to stay behind after the shows, get closer to the animals, ask questions, etc. Valentina even heald and owl on her arm and fed some exotic brids from her own hands.
Then, Valentina’s VIP visit continued with an encounter with the dolphins. Just like with the birds, caretakers at the dolphinarium are responsible of teaching all their visitors about these beloved animals. Valetina learned about dolphins anatomy, their vast intelligence, sensitivity and social skills, as well as about the importance of protecting them and the oceans they live in.
Finally, the young girl and her family visited “La Pequeña Granja” (or Small Farm). This area of the Zoo devoted to the most well-known and endearing animals: goats, pigs, rabbits, ponies, etc. Here, children can interact with the animals and even touch them. For Valentina, the best part of the visit to the Small Farm were the baby goats, that she could feed and had lots of fun with.
However, the thing that Valentina was most excited about was, without a doubt, meeting the giraffes! Giraffes are her favorite animals. So much so, that she has travelled with her parents around the country to see as many as possible. Following a visit to the Parque de la Naturaleza de Cabárceno (Cantabria), Valentina couldn’t wait to interact with the giraffes at the Zoo de Madrid.
In the time she spent with the giraffes, Valentina was able to feed them some carrots. She didn’t leave until she had met every one of them!
One of the pillars of the Parques Reunidos Foundation is contributing to the wellbeing of all children who suffer from some kind of illness or disability. To make these children’s dreams come true and encourage them to keep fighting we work with foundations like Pequeño Deseo. Thus, we manage to create hope and optimism in these children’s lives,
Valentina’s visit to the Zoo de Madrid ended up being a lesson of love for animals and of smiling in the face of any setback. Her energy has left an imprint on the hearts of the Zoo’s team -who were devoted to the girl and got infected by her joy- and of all those who have had the chance to know her story.