June 14, 2017
Stick Your Neck Out for Giraffe
- as seen by -Jennifer Loveless
Summer is quickly approaching.
The trees are almost in full bloom, and the grass is getting longer. Long grass reminds me of the Masai Mara where grass was as high as an elephant’s belly. While at the Mara, we encountered one of my favorite animals in the world – the giraffe. And not just any giraffe, but the Masai giraffe (above). The grass was so tall that instead of browsing from trees, the giraffe extended their necks down and plucked clumps of it to eat. The Masai giraffe are very distinct from other species of giraffe with their starburst, or leaf-like, spot patterns on their skin.
Not only does summer mean more lawn mowing and gardening, but the first day of summer, June 21, celebrates these amazing animals on World Giraffe Day. This year, the Bronx Zoo continues to recognize the longest-necked animals on the longest day of the year. Zookeepers will give keeper talks, training demonstrations, and other fun activities that will inform visitors about what can be done to help these majestic animals. There will also be keeper talks on the okapi (or forest giraffe), a cousin of the giraffe.
Giraffe are in trouble across all of Africa. Populations have decreased by 40 percent in the last two decades and need our help. Stick your neck out and join us at the Bronx Zoo on June 17, 18, and 21 to meet some of our giraffe and find out more about their relatives in the wild.