-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events
photo courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo
Philadelphia Zoo (3400 West Girard) is thrilled to announce the opening of Giraffe Encounter. This brand new, hands-on experience brings visitors eye-to-eye with the three tallest residents of America’s first Zoo. Participants will have a chance to feed the Zoo’s giraffe family, which includes Stella, Abigail and Bea. The newly enhanced add-on to the giraffe exhibit will debut on Thursday, July 7th. Giraffe Encounter is available daily from 10:00am to 12:00pm Noon and 1:00pm to 4:00pm. This new encounter is only $6 for general admission holders, $5 for Individual, Dual, Family and Family Plus Members, and $5 for Family Deluxe Members. Tickets are available inside the Zoo only, in African Plains, through a QR code. Guest can feed the giraffe their favorite treat of browse to enjoy. The giraffe’s 18 inch tongues move very fast, so have those cameras charged, on and ready!
“Philadelphia Zoo is excited to bring this all new experience to our guests,” said Philadelphia Zoo Chief Marketing and Experience Officer Amy Shearer. “Our giraffe family is quite popular, we expect a lot of interest in meeting and feeding these magnificent animals.”
“Our new giraffe encounter is an incredible way for guests to get up close and personal with our tallest residents,” said Philadelphia Zoo Director of Mission Integration Dani Hogan. “Not only are we able to provide a truly unique opportunity for so many people, we’re also able to enrich and enhance the lives of our giraffes. This is an unforgettable experience you can’t get anywhere else!”
Giraffe Encounter is the ultimate Zoo experience for those who have always wished to feed and learn more about the giraffes. For this experience, guests will purchase their ticket on their phone using a QR code. They will then pick-up browse, which is a variety of acacia and combretum trees, leaves, shoots, vines and herbs. Guests will then ascend the new raised platform, to get closer and higher up to the giraffe trio that includes Stella, Abigail and Bea. After feeding the giraffe, guests and visitors are then invited back on the standard path to take more photos and watch friends and family partake in the experience.
Philadelphia Zoo is home currently to three giraffes, including Stella (female) who was born on May 27, 2001, and her daughter Abigail (female), who was born on July 17, 2010; and Bea (female) who was born July 1, 2019 at Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee, who arrived at Philadelphia Zoo on November 20, 2020. Stella is Bea’s adoptive mother.
Considered the tallest land animals in the world, giraffes can grow to be between 14 and 18- foot- tall. Their legs alone are taller than many people at six -foot-long. They can weigh close to 3,000 lbs. Along with their long necks, giraffes use their 18-inch-long tongues to grab the best leaves from the highest parts of the trees. They spend about half of their day browsing on leaves, although most of their feeding is done in the morning and evening when temperatures are cooler. Giraffes prefer the shade where they ruminate (chew their cud). They rarely sleep for more than a few minutes at a time, but do lie down to rest.
Listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with scientists estimating there are fewer than 100,000 surviving in the wild, giraffe are affected by poaching and habitat destruction, with populations decreasing more than 40% over the last three decades.
Philadelphia Zoo Giraffe Encounter is one of several new experiences that will enhance the Zoo experience this summer and fall with other surprises to come.
Giraffe Encounter tickets must be purchased at African Plains and cannot be purchased in advance. As the animals are adjusting, this experience is not guaranteed, and availability may be limited based on animal behavior, weather, or operational issues.
This new encounter is only $6 for those with a general admission Zoo ticket, $5 for Individual, Dual, Family and Family Plus Members, and $5 for Family Deluxe Members. General Admission tickets to the Zoo are currently $24 for adults 12 and up, $19 for ages two to eleven, and under two is free. Zoo hours are currently 9:30am to 5:00pm daily. Giraffe Encounter is daily from 10:00am to 12:00pm Noon and 1:00pm to 4:00pm.
For more information on visit www.PhiladelphiaZoo.org