DENVER (CBS4) – Wednesday is World Giraffe Day.
The longest day of the year is designated to celebrate and raise awareness for some of our favorite our long-necked friends, giraffes.
Over the last several months, there’s been a surge in interest for giraffes.
Here in Colorado, at both the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the Denver Zoo, two baby giraffes have been born since February.
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo welcomed little Rae.
Rae is the zoo’s 199th successful giraffe birth, and an addition to their already amazing herd.
Including Rae, the zoo houses nearly 20 giraffes, which can be fed at their African Rift Valley exhibit from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo also streams a live camera from their giraffe yard during the day. At night the herd is back in the barn.
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was recently named the sixth-best zoo in the country, beating out not only Denver but also the famed San Diego Zoo.
The Denver Zoo welcomed Dobby to their herd, but things didn’t go as smoothly for him initially as they did for Rae.
When he was born, Dobby was a bit of a surprise as the zoo didn’t realize until late that mother Kipele was actually pregnant.
But, surprise, at 3 a.m. on the last day in February, Dobby was born measuring five-fee-tall and weighing 73 pounds.
Dobby had some health issues at first, but thankfully has recovered and is doing well in their yard, on exhibit for guests to see and feed daily.
The surge in interest of giraffes can be traced back to New York’s Animal Adventure Park, when they began streaming their pregnant giraffe April on YouTube to help keep local fans up-to-date on her pregnancy.
Little did they know that it would become a global phenomenon, with millions waiting for and watching her give birth early on a Saturday morning in April. April gave birth to Tajiri, a boy whose name means Hope or Confidence in Swahili.
Park owner Jordan Patch thanked CBS Denver fans for helping make the live feed go viral.
Since then, with the money the park collected, they have donated thousands to giraffe conservation.
As they post to Facebook, “we must scratch our heads and wonder, how did we allow the wild populations of one of the most well known and loved animals on earth fall to an alarming number of less than 100,000.”
According to their post, that’s a decline of 30 to 40 percent in the last few decades, which means, at this rate, “our children could see the last wild giraffes. It is time for our action.”
The Animal Adventure Park is an interactive and educational animal park located 15 minutes outside of Binghamton.