Today is World Giraffe Day, an initiative set up by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation to highlight the plight of Africa’s gentle giants in the wild. Held on the 21st of June, the date celebrates the longest necked animals in the world on the longest day of the year.
Experts estimate there are only 100,000 giraffes remaining in the wild and the population continues to decrease. Sadly, it is the human population growth that poses the largest threat to giraffes in Africa today as they suffer habitat loss and illegal hunting.
Twycross Zoo in East Midlands will be celebrating giraffes this weekend to support and highlight the threats these magnificent creatures face. Dedicated giraffe-themed activities, talks and competitions will be on offer both Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June.
The zoo is currently home to a group of three male giraffes. Epesi is an 8 year old reticulated giraffe, with 6 year old Setanta and 4 year old Brad both Rothschild’s. Each of these species are now listed as endangered. Visitors will have a chance to find out fun facts about these three individuals and giraffes in general, including how giraffes sleep, if they make any noises and what the lumps on their head for.
Matyas Liptovszky, Veterinary Services Manager at Twycross Zoo says, “Giraffes are such a popular species and one that is widely loved and recognised, so it is a shame that these animals are so threatened in the wild. Our three males here at Twycross Zoo are almost on everyone’s must-see list ever since they joined us in spring 2015 and we always try to make the most of their popularity to highlight the plight of wild giraffes. Visitors can book a feeding experience, or simply attend our daily talks at the Giraffe Savannah.
“We also have an adoption scheme for the ones who are really committed to giraffe conservation. Celebrating the World Giraffe Day and turning it into an action-packed weekend of activities is yet another opportunity to help us educate the public about the importance of giraffe conservation.”
Twycross Zoo is open to the public from 10am to 6pm. For more information call 0844 474 1777, or visit www.twycrosszoo.org.