Wildlife World Zoo in West Valley welcomes newborn giraffe
PHOENIX — A newborn reticulated giraffe named Austin was introduced to the world on Feb. 18th at the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park west of Phoenix.
Just a few days old at the time, the giraffe already stood more than six feet tall.
“The calf is thriving under the close watch of his attentive mother,” Wildlife World’s Deputy Director Jack Ewert said in a Facebook post. “Over the next few weeks, keepers will continue to introduce mother and baby to the rest of the herd.”
The zoo offered visitors the chance to feed the animals at its 12-foot tall giraffe feeding station. Using their 18-inch tongues and prehensile lips, the giraffes will eat food pellets right out of guests’ hands.
The Wildlife World has raised nine giraffes in the last 16 years in the fight to conserve and protect the population from extinction.
The species is under pressure from habitat loss, ecological changes, poaching and the growth of the human population.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists giraffes as an animal that is vulnerable to extinction. It claimed that the population has seen a 36 to 40 percent decline over the past 30 years.
The zoo is located on Northern Avenue and Sarival Road. It is open seven days a week, 365 days a year, including holidays, with zoo exhibits open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.