Denver the Giraffe Has a Milestone Birthday at Reid Park Zoo

This week, Reid Park Zoo is celebrating the 30th birthday of Denver the giraffe.

Denver’s 30th birthday is a huge milestone, as the median life expectancy of a female giraffe is 19.4  years. She is just a couple of months younger than the oldest giraffe in the nation.

To care for Denver in her old age, the Animal Care Team feed Denver high calorie food with lots of vitamins, and weigh her twice a week to make sure she’s maintaining a healthy weight. Denver’s mother lived to be an estimated 32 years, so longevity seems to be a family trait.

Unfortunately, giraffes like Denver are facing what researchers call a “silent extinction” in the wild. While they are one of the most recognizable animals on the planet, they have been quietly disappearing due to habitat destruction and poaching. There are currently fewer giraffes in the world than elephants and rhinos.

That’s why Reid Park Zoo partners with conservation programs such as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) program and the Tarangire Elephant Project.

The Tarangire Elephant Project is dedicated to protecting biodiversity in Tanzania, Africa. Species in the area face many threats including habitat loss, poaching and climate change. Maintaining the ecological heritage of the area will help species like giraffes, elephants and cheetahs survive in the wild. Reid Park Zoo supports this organization and conservationist Dr. Charles Foley in their efforts to preserve the natural habitats of these incredible mammals.

Giraffes are an endangered species on the path for extinction unless change is made. That’s why it’s important to spread awareness about the threats against giraffes and do your part in reducing your impact on the environment.

By supporting Reid Park Zoo and attending events such as the daily giraffe encounter, you are helping save wild animals and wild places. You can also support this mission by making a donation to the Reid Park Zoo Conservation Fund.

Learn more about these conservation efforts by visiting Expedition Tanzania at Reid Park Zoo and exploring the different features around the habitat.