Seneca Park Zoo conservation efforts aim to help giraffes

[anvplayer video=”5182208″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — It’s World Giraffe Day. The Seneca Park Zoo has three Masai giraffes — Kipenzi, Iggy and her son Olmstead.

Unfortunately, the species is heading into endangerment.

“The species we have here are Masai Giraffes. They can reach up to 16 or 17 feet tall as an adult male and weigh over 1000lbs,” Director of the Seneca Park Zoo Steve Lacy said.

However, the population of Masai giraffes in the wild is now only about 35,000. And the population of all giraffes are declining significantly.

“We partner with the giraffe conservation foundation, and we have given them over $20,000 since the giraffes have been here at Seneca Park Zoo. A lot of people don’t realize that giraffes need this help and support. There are less than 117,000 giraffes in the world,” Lacy said.

To combat this, the Seneca Park Zoo does many things to help and raise money for conservation of this species.

To directly help the conservation efforts, Olmstead, the only male in the herd, is a part of the species survival plan.

“What that means is we partner with all these other zoos and we look at genetics with the different animals and we create breeding plans,” Lacy said.

The zoo also has conservation weeks where they focus on one species and specifically raise money for them.

“So the money we have, we sent to giraffe conservation and what they do is they look for projects that need it. And that can be anywhere from hiring rangers to make sure that the territory in Africa where giraffes live is protected from poachers or it could be going to researchers,” Lacy said.

If you want to join giraffe conservation efforts at the Seneca Park Zoo — this weekend is Savanna Awareness Weekend.

There, you can feed the giraffes, become involved in some animal enrichment, and have fun all while raising money for all giraffes.