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!

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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 3 to 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. Naples Zoo's Director of Conservation was also elected to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation Board of Directors.

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).  GCF helps establish current status updates of giraffe populations, has lead the efforts to define the species/subspecies questions, and identifies innovative ways to mitigate threats along with so much more. You can help when you purchase a I STAND TALL FOR GIRAFFE wristband by our giraffe when you visit - all proceeds support GCF to help wild giraffes.


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