Reticulated Giraffe​​​​​​​ Facts

Scientific Name

Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata


Africa, south of the Sahara

What do they eat?

Herbivore; leaves, shoots, branches, bark


Vulnerable to Extinction


The median lifespan is in the teens. Some individuals have lived into their 20s. ​​​​​​​

Conservation Threats

Habitat degradation and poaching

Feed a Giraffe!

There's nothing quite like being face to face with the world's tallest animal as they eat a treat from your hand. You can experience this yourself daily between 10 am and 3 pm. The cost for this unforgettable experience is just $5 (cash or credit card). This gets you three pieces of romaine lettuce for three up close encounters!

Celebrate World Giraffe Day! 

A Deadly Wire Gauntlet: Only about three thousand of the Critically Endangered Nubian giraffe survive today. About half of them live in Murchison Falls National Park where they must evade a maze of lethal wire snare traps placed by poachers. To help them, Giraffe Conservation Foundation took an active role in supporting the veterinary response and anti-poaching operations with Uganda Wildlife Authority in 2019. Knowing the importance of that work, Naples Zoo agreed that same year to fully fund the annual salary of one of those wildlife veterinarians, Dr. Sara Ferguson. Since that time, she has helped de-snare about 200 giraffes along with other species like hartebeest, chimpanzee, lion, and elephant. 

Help Rescue Giraffes: Each year, we host World Giraffe Day to focus attention on the silent extinction facing this beloved animal. To help, you can do two things this World Giraffe Day. 

First, you can enjoy a great meal at South Street. Dine in or pick up between Tuesday, June 15 and Sunday, June 20 and South Street will donate 10% of all check totals that week to help rescue giraffes! That also generously includes all beverages including their amazing assortment of beers and they will also be offering a custom craft giraffe cocktail and a special World Giraffe Day 2021 commemorative pint glass featuring a full color photograph of giraffes! South Street is at 1410 Pine Ridge Rd on the southwest corner of Pine Ridge Road and Goodlette Rd in Naples.

Second, get fabulous giraffe perks! Click here to see a variety of fun rewards we will arrange for you or as a gift for family or friends when you invest in saving giraffes including personalized images and videos with our giraffes that you can share online. Join the giraffes while they paint for you or even get a personalized video thank you from giraffe conservationist in Africa! You can even be a giraffe keeper for a day!


Stand Even Taller For Giraffes! Giant Animals Need Generous Supporters

Today, there are four elephants for every giraffe in Africa. If you were thinking of investing a more significant tax-deductible donation for the future of giraffes and you have the means, Giraffe Conservation Foundation is the proven partner to support, so we’d like to offer you these special experiences below. GCF’s successes include managing and supporting giraffe conservation initiatives for all four species of giraffe in 15 African countries. Overall giraffe conservation is now being guided by National Giraffe Conservation Strategies and Action Plans in four African countries, which were all developed with the support of GCF. 100% of your tax-deductible contribution made to Naples Zoo goes to Giraffe Conservation Foundation.

Private Chat: What Does It Take to Rescue a Giraffe?  $2,500 RESERVE NOW
Join GCF's Uganda Conservation Coordinator Dr. Sara Ferguson for a twenty-minute private chat online as she shares what it feels like to see a snared giraffe and all that goes into the rapid response to get hands on the giraffe for treatment and watch it get back up freed of its wire noose. You’ll also be joined by Naples Zoo’s Director of Conservation and Giraffe Conservation Foundation Board Member Tim L. Tetzlaff who has joined her in the field participating in those rescues. If you’d like to share this experience with special friends or family, a few additional connections can be added, but this will be limited to keep this experience personal. The video chat will be recorded so you can relive it or privately share with others. RESERVE NOW. You may also pay by check. Contact to arrange.

Private Chat: What Does It Take to Save Giraffes? Meet the Co-Founders of GCF.  $10,000 RESERVE NOW

You've seen them in nature documentaries and interviewed on national television. Now join GCF Co-Founders Dr. Julian and Steph Fennessy for a private twenty-minute chat online as they share their extraordinary story of giving voice to the silent extinction of giraffes. Founders of World Giraffe Day itself, they look forward to speaking with you about anything you’d like whether it’s hands-on translocating giraffes across the Nile River or collecting genetic samples from helicopter to raising their kids in Namibia – ask any of your questions and enjoy personal time with these ground-breaking conservationists. You’ll also be joined by Naples Zoo’s Director of Conservation Tim L. Tetzlaff who has joined GCF in the field participating in those giraffe rescues and also serves on Giraffe Conservation Foundation board. If you’d like to share this experience with special friends or family, a few additional connections can be added, but this will be limited to keep this experience personal. The video chat will be recorded so you can relive it or privately share with others. RESERVE NOW. You may also pay by check. Contact to arrange. 

With your support, we’re creating a better future for the world’s tallest animal. So enjoy some delicious food from South Street and pick out your favorite rewards and join us in helping giraffe. As they say in Uganda, asante sana. Thank you!

Helping Giraffes Near . . .

Naples Zoo participates in the Reticulated and Rothschild Giraffe Species Survival Plan® (SSP). The SSP is a cooperative conservation effort among zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Just like in the wild where males will leave the bachelor herds to seek out female company, bachelor herds in zoos will send out some males for breeding. In zoos, these moves are scientifically analyzed by an SSP coordinator using custom software that includes the extensive ancestry records of all the giraffes in North America to insure the healthiest genetic herd for long-term survival. So far, two of our giraffe have been selected and sent to other accredited facilities to help father the next generation of giraffes.

. . . and Far

In just the last 30 years, Africa's giraffe population has plummeted by 30%. Today with a population of 117,000 (2021 estimate), there are 4 elephants for every one giraffe. To secure a better future for these iconic creatures, Naples Zoo partners with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF). Along with supporting their overall efforts with events like Longnecks for Longnecks event at South Street, Naples Zoo funds the annual salary of wildlife veterinarian Dr. Sara Ferguson, GCF's Uganda Wildlife Coordinator. In cooperation with Uganda Wildlife Authority, GCF is doing extraordinary work to save the critically endangered Nubian giraffe. Only 3,000 of these giraffe survive with over half in Murchison Falls National Park where Dr. Ferguson works.

While giraffe are one of the most recognized of all animals, there was surprisingly little research on them until GCF was formed by Dr. Julian and Steph Fennessy (video of Julian at Naples Zoo). Julian is also Co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Giraffe & Okapi Specialist Group. GCF is establishing current status updates of giraffe populations, helping to define the the species/subspecies questions, and identifying innovative ways to mitigate threats along with so much more. You can help when you purchase a SAVE THE GIRAFFES wristband when you visit as proceeds are donated to GCF to help wild giraffes.

You Can Help Rangers Save Giraffe!

Donate a New or Used Handheld GPS

Through the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, your GPS can become a Giraffe Positioning System! Day and night, rangers risk their lives fighting poachers and saving wildlife. Your handheld GPS in a ranger’s hands documents vital data for long-term monitoring as well as provides exact locations to radio in backup teams when poachers have been spotted. 

Donating is simple.

Just drop off your handheld GPS at any ticket box. Acceptable models are the vertical hiking-style GPS unit like the one shown here - NOT a horizontal car unit for the dashboard. If you'd like, you can also purchase one for us to send to the rangers at through this link and a percentage of your purchase is donated to the Zoo! Just search "handheld GPS." Units like the Garmin eTrex 10 or eTrex20 will work well. You can even dropship it to the Zoo! If you're shipping, please e-mail our Director of Conservation at with your name and address and the unit purchased so we can send out an in-kind donation receipt for your taxes. 


If needed for shipping information, the following may be used: Contact: Tim Tetzlaff | Phone 239.262.5409 ext 122 | email:

Any questions, please e-mail our Director of Conservation Tim Tetzlaff. Thank you!


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