Giraffes are Back at the San Antonio Zoo
The San Antonio Zoo is ushering in new era. This week, the zoo welcomed three new giraffes in their newly opened exhibit, the Savanna. Located next door to the elephant exhibit, the Savanna is now home to three male reticulated giraffes – a dad, age 8, and his two 3-year-old sons.
Newly arrived from the Brownsville Zoo, the trio are taking their time getting used to their new surroundings. They shyly peek out of their shaded home, and eventually one of the young sons ventures out slowly and cautiously into their spacious enclosure.
It’s going to take some time, but once the giraffes are acclimated to their new home and properly trained, guests will be able to feed the giraffes, too! Tickets for giraffe feeding will be available in a nearby kiosk and $5 will buy three leaves of lettuce. Until they are ready, we’ll just have to be patient!
In the wild, giraffe numbers are declining. The San Antonio Zoo giraffes belong to the reticulated subspecies, of which it’s estimated that only 4,700 remain in the wild. In an effort to help study and understand more about these amazing animals, the zoo partnered with Giraffe Conservation Foundation. Zoo guests can help by donating their used handheld GPS systems or binoculars, so they can be sent to Africa and used to help observe the animals in the wild.
In captivity, some 450 reticulated giraffes are estimated to live in zoos around the world. These giraffes are the first animals to break in the Savanna exhibit. Eventually the zoo hopes to add such animals as ostrich, topi, cranes, stork, zebra, and potentially others. This will take some time – as animal care specialists determine which are the right animals to co-exist peacefully – but the end result will surely be spectacular.
The Savanna is just part of a major renovation in that section of the zoo. At the exhibit, a giant, wrap-around style platform gives zoo visitors plenty of room to watch the new additions. The nearby café, once called the Baraza, will soon reopen as the Longnecks Bar and Grill with an expanded menu of bar-type goodies, as well. It’s an exciting time for our zoo, I hope to see you there.