Celebrating Giraffes

Twycross-Zoo-Celebrating-Giraffes-Weekend-24th-25th-June-2017Celebrating Giraffes

Saturday 24th – Sunday 25th June 

Come along and celebrate these amazing, and much loved animals.

Join in with activities, games, talks and competitions, all to highlight and raise support of the challenges giraffes face in the wild.

With only 100,000 giraffes remaining in the wild this weekend is a great opportunity for you and your family, to learn more about the challenges giraffes face in the wild, and how you can help protect them.

Activities throughout the day…


  • Giraffe Trail & Quiz: follow our Giraffe trail around the zoo for a chance to win a huge giraffe plush toy! Use the Trail Leaflet with competition entry form on – given to you when you arrive.
  •  11am – 5pm: Giraffe Mask Making, also Match the Patches game: try your hand at this pattern matching game and learn about different species of giraffes. On the Lorikeet Lawn.
  •  11am: Giraffe Talk by our Education Rangers; to raise awareness of population decline and threats faced. At the Giraffe Enclosure.
  • 11am – 12 & 1pm – 3pm: have a go at our conservation games, and make a pledge on our and a big giraffe. Where: Giraffe Hut viewing platform; end of giraffe paddock.
  • 2.15pm: Giraffe Talk and Feed by our Education Rangers; to raise awareness of population decline and threats faced. At the Giraffe Enclosure
Twycross Zoo Giraffe Competition TZ

WIN this giant giraffe by taking part in our Giraffe Trail & Quiz, either day; Saturday 24th – Sunday 25th June.

Please see details at the bottom of the page for terms and conditions.


  • Pop Badge  if you’re a Twycross Zoo member you can collect the latest ‘Celebrating Giraffes Pop Badge’. Find out more about > Twycross Zoo membership
  • Try our yummy gingerbread giraffe biscuits – in Costa Coffee, in the Himalaya Building.
  • Face painting throughout the day – next to the Gift Shop in the Himalaya Building
  • Adopt a giraffe today and help support giraffe conservation > Animal Adoptions


Did you know?

We’ve put together some Giraffe facts for you, about our giraffes and giraffes in the wild;

We have three male giraffes:

Epesi: which means ‘swift’ in Swahili, 8 years old and a reticulated giraffe.

  • Born at Nurnberg Zoo, Germany, before going to Colchester Zoo in 2010.
  • He came to Twycross Zoo in March 2015.
  • The most dominant as he is the oldest and the largest of the giraffes.
  • He will sometimes follow the other boys about and ‘neck swing’ which is his way of asserting his dominance over them.

Setanta: the name is from an Irish folklore character, he is 6 years old, and is a Rothschild’s giraffe.

  • Born at Fota Wildlife Park, Ireland. Came to Twycross Zoo in April 2015.
  • He is the middle giraffe, he respects his place with Epesi but pushes his luck with Brad by ‘neck swinging’ at him, however Brad is also his favourite to be around and can get stroppy when he doesn’t know where Brad is.

Brad: is 4 years old, is a Rothschild’s giraffe. Born at Flamingo Land, UK. Came to Twycross Zoo in April 2015.

  • He is the smallest giraffe and least dominant, he is quite happy to be on his own but will occasionally have a cheeky neck swing at Epesi or Setanta and regret it instantly.
  • Brad can be very intelligent and knows exactly when and where to be around feed times and gets a prime spot.


A few more facts about giraffes you may not know…

  • When do they sleep? In captivity, giraffes will sleep on average 4.5 hours per day, mostly at night.


  • How do they sleep? They usually sleep lying down; however, standing sleeps have been recorded, particularly in older individuals.


  • How tall? Males can grow up to 18 feet tall, females can reach 14 feet and their calves are born six feet tall.


  • Feeding habits? We do not give our giraffe’s access to grass as they cannot digest grass very well and can cause a lot of internal issues; instead of hay we use Alfalfa.
    • We are careful with which browse species we feed the giraffes as some species can be toxic to them, especially evergreen species and a lot of our native plants.
    • We provide our boys with approximately 12-14 branches a day, once they have eaten the leaves they will start to strip the bark, their favourite browse is willow.
    • All our giraffes enjoy eating nettles; they can eat these as they produce thick saliva which protects their throat whilst eating and also certain tree species like hawthorn or Acacia which is what they naturally eat.


Wild Giraffes

  • Favourite food in the wild? In the wild, giraffes primarily eat the leaves and twigs of acacia, mimosa, and wild apricot tree.
    • Typically a giraffe will eat about 30 kg, but can survive on as little as 15 kg.
    • These animals are browsers; which means they eat the leaves of bushes and, especially, trees.
  • How tall can they grow? Males can grow up to 18 feet tall, females can reach 14 feet and their calves are born six feet tall.


  • When do they sleep? In the wild giraffes actually have the shortest sleep requirement of all mammals, an average of half an hour a day.


  • How do they sleep? When they do settle to sleep, they lay down but only for minutes at a time, because of the risks of predators in the wild.


  • Do they live in groups? They do not have strong social ties like other animal species, except the mothers with their offspring. A mother giraffe will stay close to her calf for at least the first 13-16 months of its life. The herds have females, offspring, young, and some males
    • Some individuals prefer to stay alone, especially some bulls that are less social than cows.
    • Each member of the herd can leave the group at will.
    • Giraffes can live in herds of 10 to 20 individuals, although they can be up to 50 members.


  • How many children on average do they have? On average giraffes will only give birth to one calf.


  • Do they make noises? During courtship, males emit some cough-like vocalizations, but both genders have the ability to whistle, moan and communicate through some infrasounds when they are at long distances, which is why we cannot always hear them
    • Giraffes are not a noisy species or make a particular sound that identifies them like many other animals, but in certain situations, they communicate with sounds.


  • What are the tufts, or lumps, on their head for? These are ossicones.
    • Both female and male giraffe have a main pair of ossicones.
    • While the females’ are often thin and tufted, male giraffe normally have thicker ossicones that become bald on top as a result of frequent necking.
    • Ossicones on the head of male giraffe add weight, which often increases with age, enabling them to deliver ever heavier blows during necking contests

Find out even more about giraffes > Giraffe details

Come along over the weekend Saturday 24th – Sunday 25th June

Join in with activities, games, talks and competitions, all to highlight and raise support of the challenges giraffes face in the wild.

Book your tickets online today > Twycross Zoo Tickets


Help and information…

Call Guest Services: 0844 474 1777


Follow us on Facebook > Twycross Zoo Facebook

Find out more about > Twycross Zoo membership

Join our mailing list to receive the latest events details, offers, competitions, news, and more, direct to your inbox > Twycross Zoo Mailing List



Giraffe Competition Terms and Conditions

To enter the competition for a chance to win the huge giraffe soft toy:

  • A competition entry form has to be filled in – this is available when you enter the Zoo at the pay booths, or from Gust Services.
  • The entry forms are subject to availability – so pleased get yours asap when you arrive.
  • You do NOT have to complete the trail / all the answers to enter, but we do need your contact details.
  • Forms need to be handed in to Guest Services.
  • This competition only runs on 24th & 25th June 2017.
  • There is no cash alternative.
  • We will contact the winner within two weeks after 25th June.
  • Due to the size of the giraffe we are not able to post this – it will have to be collected from Twycross Zoo; please contact us / or we will contact you to arrange this.
  • Only one entry per person – duplicates will be removed.