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