Oakland Zoo schedules special feedings for ‘World Giraffe Day’

OAKLAND (KRON) — The Oakland Zoo has a special event scheduled to help celebrate World Giraffe Day.

On June 21, guests will be able to feed giraffes and meet zookeepers.

There will be five different times throughout the day where will visitors will be given the opportunity to feed giraffes. Feedings will take place at 10 a.m, 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Each feeding costs $10 per person. All the money raised will be donated directly to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation’s Operation Twiga as they try to save the endangered Rothschild’s giraffes in the wild.

“In the past ten years, four out of five Reticulated giraffes have vanished,” said Amy Phelps, Lead Giraffe Keeper at Oakland Zoo. “Most of us can’t even begin to fathom four of our five closest friends disappearing from our lives, but, for the last remaining Reticulated giraffes, this is a daily reality. Since 1999, almost 50% of wild giraffes have disappeared from this planet. If something isn’t done now and current trends continue, within the next ten years giraffe populations will be completely extinct in the wild.”

Along with the special feedings, volunteers will also have stations set up for face painting and other giraffe themed activities.

The World Giraffe Day event will be held during the zoo’s fundraising campaign, Jeans for Giraffes. During this campaign, the Oakland Zoo, along with several others in California, will be collecting denim to raise money to support giraffe research and to protect the population of giraffes in Africa.

Guests are encouraged to bring in any jeans, even pairs that are ‘well-loved.’

The zoo is hopeful that both events will be successful. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation is the only organization that is supporting giraffe conservation efforts across Africa. In the late 1990’s, the African giraffe population was estimated at 140,000. In 2013, it had fallen to just about 80,000. Illegal poaching, habitat loss and human population growth are considered to be the biggest threats to the African giraffe population.

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