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!

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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