Audubon Zoo Celebrates World Giraffe Day
Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19, 2016
With only 90,000 giraffe left in the wild, World Giraffe Day was established to put ordinary people in touch with the giraffe conservation effort.
As part of the celebration, Audubon Zoo will host public feeds at the Giraffe Exhibit to raise funds for conservation on Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19, at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
A feeding station will be set up near the Giraffe Exhibit overlook where guests can pay a nominal fee for carrots to offer to Audubon's four male giraffes. A donation box also will be available and all proceeds will go to the Giraffe Conservation Alliance.
Audubon zookeepers and education staffers will be on hand to answer questions and discuss giraffe anatomy, different subspecies and conservation status.
"The worldwide giraffe population has declined by nearly 40 percent over the last 15 years. World Giraffe Day gives us the opportunity, as an institution, to educate the public about the issues at the heart of this problem,'' said Audubon hoofstock keeper Madison Marullo.
"We invite our guests to experience and learn what makes giraffes amazing animals and the importance of working towards their conservation. This is a hands-on experience that we hope will encourage everyone to get involved in helping to preserve these incredible animals for future generations to enjoy.''
Habitat loss and illegal hunting are the greatest threats facing giraffes on the African continent. Conservation efforts focus on learning more about their population numbers, seasonal migration patterns and how much space they need to flourish.
The key message for World Giraffe Day 2016 is that even small cash contributions to conservation can make a difference.
For example, donations are used for cameras, GPS equipment, satellite collars and binoculars to monitor giraffe movements, salaries for field rangers and lunches and workbooks for school children who want to spend class time in the bush.
World Giraffe Day activities are included in admission to Audubon Zoo, which is located at 6500 Magazine St. For more information, visit http://audubonnatureinstitute.org/
Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Special Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.