Happy World Giraffe Day, Denver!

Today is World Giraffe Day and this year, we want to take a moment to celebrate Denver! Denver the reticulated giraffe is an incredible 31 years old and is the second oldest giraffe participating in the Species Survival Program! She’s a great ambassador for her endangered species, which is threatened by habitat destruction and poaching.

Julia, one of the members of Reid Park Zoo’s giraffe care team, says Denver has a strong personality that shines through to anyone who sees her at the Zoo. “If you’ve participated in a giraffe feed, you may have may had the chance to see how lovely she is up close and experience her gentle personality first hand,” Julia said. “Denver is also very intelligent and patient with her keepers, readily engaging in her health care training and participating in voluntary blood draws while in her habitat.”
Giraffes are currently going through a silent extinction. Giraffes are very easy to see and identify in the wild due to their size and unique characteristics, so for many years people thought the giraffe population numbers were good. When scientists looked at current population data they realized that giraffes have actually seen about a 40% decline in their population in just the last 30 years.
Elephants, rhinos, and lions have received a lot of attention for their declining numbers but giraffes have received very little so most people are unaware of the concerning situation they are in. Numbers are declining due to poaching, civil unrest, and loss of habitat. We can help giraffes by reducing our carbon footprint to stop climate change that is causing droughts in many areas of giraffe habitat.