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Celebrate ‘World Giraffe Day’ with Oklahoma City Zoo’s newest member

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – If you are looking for something to entertain the whole family, the Oklahoma City Zoo says Oklahomans have the chance to spend ‘World Giraffe Day’ with the zoo’s newest member.

World Giraffe Day, a worldwide celebration dedicated to raising awareness for the planet’s tallest animal, is Monday, June 21.

During World Giraffe Day, guests can participate in a variety of activities that highlight the zoo’s giraffe family and ways you can help conserve their populations in the wild.

Activities that will be setup near the giraffe habitat, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., include:

  • Kids Activities with Prizes: Participants 11 and under will have opportunity to learn more about our tower of giraffes through two interactive activities: Spot Safari! and Happy “Giraffidae” Day.
  • Facebook Live Chats with the Zoo’s giraffe caretakers at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tune in here, Facebook, for both talks.
  • Animal Enrichment (10 a.m. at the giraffe habitat): Watch as our gentle giants enjoy enrichment treats provided by their caretakers.
  • Conservation Education Station: View bio-facts and hear what the Zoo is doing to help wild giraffe and their habitat and how you can help.
  • Zoo Silage Program Station: Peeled, sealed, delivered! Discover how the Zoo preserves seasonal browse for its giraffe and other animals to enjoy during the winter.
  • Photo Opportunities sponsored by Bob Moore Subaru.

The zoo is home to five giraffes with another one on the way. They include 20-year-old Ellie, 5-year-old Julu, 2-year-old Mashamba, 4-year-old Demetri, and Ellie’s calf. Julu is pregnant and expected to deliver soon.

Organizers say there will be two feeding sessions at 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $5 per person.

The OKC Zoo’s Top Ten World Giraffe Day Facts

  • The giraffe uses its 18-inch prehensile tongue to remove leaves from thorny trees.
  • Giraffe horns are called ossicones, which are made of ossified cartilage.
  • The giraffe’s tongue is a dark purple color, which prevents sunburn.
  • Giraffes are ungulates, meaning they have hooves and walk on their toes.
  • The okapi is the giraffe’s closest living relative. Bonus Fun Fact: The Zoo’s okapi, male Bosomi (2) and female Kayin (5) reside in the habitat next to the giraffes!
  • Giraffes have seven cervical (neck vertebrae), same as humans.
  • Giraffes have 32 teeth (8 incisors and 24 molars), same as humans.
  • A giraffe’s heart weighs about 25 pounds and is the size of a basketball.
  • Giraffes have the highest blood pressure of any animal.
  • Giraffes are ruminants, meaning they have a four-chambered stomach, like a cow.

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