It’s World Giraffe Day and we’re celebrating the world’s tallest mammal today and raising awareness for the endangered species.
We’ve got three giraffes at DZ, female Josie and males, Kubwa and his son, Kito, who are great ambassadors for their wild counterparts and are always firm favourites with visitors.
Section Leader, Jay Haywood, said: “Giraffes are amazing creatures and are definitely my favourite animal. They’re graceful, elegant and unique, but species numbers are decreasing due to hunting for meat, hides and tail, habitat loss and human expansion and it is now thought there are only around 90,000 giraffes remaining in the wild.
“The species has already become extinct in ten African countries in the last decade, making it a real and frightening possibility that giraffes could disappear for good from the wild, which we need to fight to prevent from happening.
“It’s days like today where zoos around the world can raise awareness about their plight as well as funds for giraffe conservation projects.”
Throughout Sunday staff manned an information stand outside the giraffe paddock, where they helped shed light on the challenges giraffe face in the wild with a variety of biofacts, including giraffe skulls and skins and this week visitors can also find out more in the Discovery Centre, where staff have put together a display board of facts about the species.
We also offered visitors the chance to win a giraffe feed by purchasing raffle tickets, with giraffe-fan Jenny Jones drawn as the winner – pictured below!
As well as raising funds through the raffle, staff also sold giraffe ears and tails and our face painters were busy transforming visitors into their favourite long-legged animal.
Our finance team are currently busy totting up the pennies, but all money raised will go towards the work of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, who organise the annual awareness event.
This year the foundation is supporting two giraffe conservation projects – Reticulated giraffe conservation in Kenya and environmental education in Namibia.