PHOTO CREDIT: Jamie Pham.
FACE-TO-FACE GIRAFFE FEEDINGS
OFFICIALLY DEBUT AT LOS ANGELES ZOO
AS PART OF YEARLONG 50TH ANNIVERSARY “ZooLAbration”
Daily 11 am and 2:30 pm,
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
What’s it like to stand face-to-face with a giraffe? Find out daily at the Los Angeles Zoo’s new interactive Giraffe Feedings at 11 am and 2:30 pm, which officially debuts this month as part of the Zoo’s yearlong 50th anniversary “ZooLAbration.” At Giraffe Feedings, guests learn about the world’s tallest land mammal from Zoo Education Specialists, who share facts about the Masai giraffes’ daily lives at the Zoo, where they can eat 70 to 80 pounds of up to 100 different species of plants a day and feed for 16 to 20 hours.
“Standing 16-20 feet tall, giraffes have always been a favorite as they tower over our guests,” says Dan Keeffe, Curator of Education. “But now at the L.A. Zoo, guests of all ages can get up close and personal with one of our Masai giraffes, look into her eyes, and even hear her snort. When she extends her 14-inch long tongue to grab the food right out of your hand, it’s an unforgettable experience that fosters a deeper connection to a species that needs our help.”
Once classified as being of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the conservation status of giraffes moved one step closer to “Endangered” in December, 2016. Due to threats such as habitat loss and poaching, giraffe populations in Africa are declining precipitously, leading the IUCN to now classify them as “Vulnerable.” Not only do the L.A. Zoo and other institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) supply funding for field conservation efforts aimed at protecting threatened animals like the giraffe, AZA institutions are uniquely positioned to provide information and insights on reproductive biology, behavior, nutrition, animal health, and genetics that are invaluable to these efforts.
Giraffe Feedings are $5 per person with paid Zoo admission, which is $20 for general admission (ages 13 to 61); $17 for seniors (ages 62+), and $15 for children (ages 2 to 12) for non-members. Guests can purchase tickets (cash only) for the Giraffe Feedings at the exhibit just prior to start times for the activity, which is subject to weather-related changes, especially on rainy days.
The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens marks its 50th anniversary with a yearlong “ZooLAbration” of its November 28, 1966, opening that spotlights not only its key role as a world-class destination and an important community asset but also its critical successes in conservation, quality of life and premier care for animals. Having recently completed a $172 million master plan which significantly improved the Zoo facility, the 50th anniversary coincides with the early planning stages of a new Master Plan for the future. The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing nearly 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered, as well as a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. The L.A. Zoo’s lush grounds on 113 acres feature Rainforest of the Americas, an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians living in spaces that exemplify their natural habitat in the rainforest biosphere; Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest troops of chimpanzees in the United States; Red Ape Rain Forest, where visitors can walk among orangutans; the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles); Elephants of Asia; Campo Gorilla Reserve; and one of the largest flocks of flamingos in any zoo in the world. Among other highlights are an extraordinary, hands-on Hippo Encounter; the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo and Muriel’s Ranch animal contact area; the Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel; a variety of daily opportunities to learn more about animals, including close-up visits, special feedings and intriguing talks; and much more. The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 60,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children. As evidence of the Zoo’s popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Free parking is available. For additional information, contact (323) 644-4200 or visit www.lazoo.org/
Credit: The Los Angeles Zoo.