World Giraffe Day at the Oakland Zoo lets visitors get personal with giraffes.
From the days that Roman explorers first described the mysterious African beast they called the “camel-leopard,” the giraffe has fascinated us with its strange appearance, astounding height, and gentle disposition.
The first giraffe to make it to Europe caused a sensation when it arrived in Caesar’s Colosseum, but a giraffe wasn’t seen outside of Africa again for a thousand years, when Lorenzo de’ Medici added a gift from the Sultan of Egypt to his menagerie.
Luckily, you won’t need to wait a millennium before getting your next giraffe experience. The Oakland Zoo’s World Giraffe Day celebrates the majesty and mystery of the giraffe, as well as its charmingly goofy way of walking.
Kids and parents will have the chance to get up close and personal with the zoo’s gangly giants and offer them a few tasty leaves in inter-species friendship. Proceeds from giraffe feedings will benefit the Reticulated Giraffe Project, which studies and protects endangered giraffes in Kenya. June 21, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Giraffe feedings at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m., $15 per person plus zoo admission.
Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland. www.OaklandZoo.org.