Giraffes: Big leaf eaters
The San Diego Zoo’s giraffe exhibit lets you get amazingly close to these tremendously tall creatures. The tallest of land animals, a giraffe could look into a second-story window without even having to stand on its tiptoes!
There is only one species of giraffe, with nine currently recognized subspecies. The different subspecies can be recognized by their patterns and also by where they live in Africa. The Zoo has a herd of Masai giraffes, native to Kenya, that have patterns that look like oak leaves. Giraffes are not the only residents of the giraffe exhibit—they share their space with much smaller Soemmerring’s gazelles, graceful antelope native to Africa.
Feeding stations are located throughout, with low feeders containing tasty herbivore pellets lining the front of the exhibit and much higher ones with leafy acacia branches dangling enticingly in the middle. Either way, it’s so interesting to watch a giraffe use its long, dark tongue to wrap around its food. If you’d like an up-close feeding encounter with our leggy beauties, be sure to visit on the weekend: our Giraffe Experience lets you feed nutritious biscuits to the giraffes. Money raised from this program supports conservation efforts that help improve habitat for giraffes as well as Grevy’s zebras, elephants, and other African wildlife.