Happy World Giraffe Day! Today we celebrate our favorite long-necked creatures. Here at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, we have five giraffes in our herd: adult females Tessa, Cece, and Zoey, and young males Fennessy and Theo. Fennessy (Fenn) had his first birthday this week, and Theo is 7 months old.
Because he was born the week of World Giraffe Day, Fennessy was actually named after Julien Fennessy, the founder of World Giraffe Day and avid giraffe conservationist. Fenn is now about 10 feet tall and weighs nearly 800 pounds! Giraffes are usually about 6 feet tall and 150 pounds when they are born, so Fenn has grown quite a bit in his first year!
We love celebrating our giraffes and their own milestones! However, their wild counterparts are struggling with habitat loss and fragmentation, and giraffes are now listed as endangered. Thankfully, there are several things we can do to help protect giraffes and their habitat.
One easy thing we can do to help protect giraffes is recycle our old gift cards! Gift cards are made with petroleum, which is mined in Africa in giraffe habitat. By recycling our old gift cards instead of throwing them away, we reduce the amount of mining that needs to be done. Although we can’t throw gift cards in our Rumpke recycling bin, we can take them to places like Best Buy for recycling, or we can use a TerraCycle service. Once giraffe feedings resume at the Zoo, we can give gift cards to the staff running the feeding for recycling as well.
We can also help giraffes by going on a behind the scenes giraffe tour at the Zoo. These tours allow us to meet the giraffes up close and personal, and a portion of the ticket sale goes to the Wild Nature Institute, a conservation organization working to protect giraffes and their habitat.