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A virtual gallery: World Giraffe Day

 

Sure, Saturday was the longest day of the year. But it also was a day to fete the longest neck in the animal kingdom. Yes, World Giraffe Day was celebrated at  Audubon Zoo over the weekend, a first-ever event created by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation to raise awareness and shed light on survival challenges that giraffes are  facing as a result of poaching and habitat loss. Currently, fewer than 80,000 giraffes remain in the wild, a reduction of about 40 percent since the late 1990s. Some giraffe facts you may not know:

  • Giraffes are the tallest animals in the world and they see in color.
  • Their tongues are up to 20 inches long and their hearts can weigh 25 pounds (see photo).
  • Giraffes only sleep for 8-15 minutes a day and can do so standing up with their eyes open.
  • They have the same amount of vertebrae in their neck as humans (7).

NolaVie photographer Hanna Rasanen visited the zoo's four male giraffes -- Chui, Forrest, Bucko and Jumo -- in the Audubon Zoo's African Savanna on World Giraffe Day. Enjoy her portraits of these elusive and fascinating animals.

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

 

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

 

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

 

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

 

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

 

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

 

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

 

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

World Giraffe Day at Audubon Zoo (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

Hoofstock keeper Megan Halloran holds up a preserved giraffe heart. (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

Hoofstock keeper Megan Halloran holds up a preserved giraffe heart. (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

Hoofstock keepers Megan Halloran and Ethan Anderson man the "Giraffle" table, featuring artwork by Jeanine Nahra. All proceeds from the raffle went towards the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

Hoofstock keepers Megan Halloran and Ethan Anderson man the "Giraffle" table, featuring artwork by Jeanine Nahra. All proceeds from the raffle went towards the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. (Photo: Hanna Rasanen)

Hanna Rasanen is a photography intern at NolaVie. Contact her at [email protected]