Cape Town - The Johannesburg Zoo has called on the public to help them feed the zoo's giraffes, by delivering prunings from several species of edible trees.
According to a statement on the zoo's website, the giraffes can eat over 29 kilograms of foliage a day, and feeders are struggling to keep up with their two tallies' healthy appetites.
Hence, they've approached to public to deliver some 'take-aways' for the blokes.
According to the zoo, the giraffes mainly eat the leaves of acacia trees, but also enjoy mulberry, Rhus lancea, Celtis Africana, jacaranda and other edible trees.
Giraffes are selective feeders and although they feed for 16 to 20 hours a day, they may consume only about 29,5 kilograms of foliage during that time, the zoo's Sandra Hlungwani says. They occasionally eat grass and fruit of various trees and shrubs, but their principal food source is the acacia tree.
"The zoo is doing its best to provide them with browse daily, but that is not good enough given the fact that the amount of browse [is either too little] or of low nutritional value," Hlungwani explains.
"This is part of the reason why the zoo consistently needs help from people who are close by," Hlungwani says. "It wants cuttings, prunings, branches and leaves, particularly from acacia trees."
The giraffe, or Giraffa camelopardalis, is the tallest of all land animals. Males grow up to 4,8 metres to 5,5 metres in height, and weigh up to 1 700 kilograms. Females are generally slightly shorter and weigh about 800 kilograms.
They are typically found in arid and dry savanna zones, south of the Sahara, wherever the acacia trees are found.
People who want to help the giraffes can contact the following people:
Piet Malepa, the head of the section - 082 437 0266
Richard Shirindza, the giraffe keeper - 078 071 1640
Kenneth Nekhumbeni - 011 646 2000 ext 249
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