World Giraffe Weekend
On Saturday and Sunday, June 23 & 24, join us as we celebrate World Giraffe Day! Visit our two reticulated giraffe at the Giraffe Encounter and participate in scheduled activities, see demonstrations and even feed a giraffe! During scheduled times throughout the day, watch the giraffe interact with enrichment and learn during a training session. Our animal care specialists will be out by the giraffe feeding dock and would love to talk to you about why we love giraffe and what you can do to help them in the wild!
Recent research has found that there are currently four species of giraffe and seven subspecies of giraffe. A giraffe’s diet consists mostly of leaves, including those found among the large thorns of acacia trees. With a 20-inch long tongue, giraffe can reach the highest leaves, and the tongue’s dark color is thought to prevent sunburn. When you watch our giraffe, you may notice they do not seem to rest much. Giraffe lay down and sleep for no more than five minutes at a time!
The reticulated giraffe is the smallest of seven subspecies of giraffe. Reticulated giraffe can be found in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. However, there are only about 8,700 individuals in the wild today, a significant decrease of about 40% over the last thirty years. Poaching and loss of habitat are two main threats to giraffe. As humans continue to encroach on giraffe habitat, we not only take away land and food resources from giraffe, but can also introduce diseases from livestock to wild giraffe.
Our giraffe are Brandon, our youngest (and largest!) giraffe at six years old. Brandon loves to participate in training sessions, and knows a wide range of behaviors that allow us to care for him better. He also loves to paint, and any artwork purchased this weekend will raise money for important giraffe conservation. His mother, Makali, is 13-years-old. Her absolute favorite pastime is eating, even if it means pushing Brandon out of the way to get to the food.
At Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, we want to do as much as possible to help our giraffe’s wild counterparts. Any donations made on the weekend of June 23 & 24 will support the Giraffe Conservation Fund, allowing partners in Africa to raise awareness and implement programs in the field to help save giraffe.