Published: Jun 21, 2014 9:37 AM EDT

NAPLES, Fla.- Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is celebrating the tallest animal on the planet on the longest day of the year with fun and wild prizes. Today, the Naples Zoo along with zoos, schools, governments, and conservation organizations are hosting the very first World Giraffe Day. With events in New Zealand, Europe, Africa, Australia, and America, this international effort is an initiative of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation to both celebrate these iconic animals as well as raise awareness for the challenges they face. Locally, Naples Zoo is hosting a fun giraffe photo contest on Facebook, a giraffe-focused scavenger hunt with special giraffe education stations, a GIRAFFLE for a zoo membership, giraffe patch painting, and featuring a triple matching gift for all monies raised to help giraffes in the wild.
 
These beloved creatures are one of the best recognized, but least researched large animals in Africa. Giraffe numbers have plummeted down over 40% just since the 1990s. They are already extinct in seven African countries. We support the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in their work with governments, universities, and non-governmental organizations to support giraffe research and conservation across the continent.
 
World Giraffe Day Events

Giraffe Facebook Photo Contest to Win Breakfast with the Giraffes


Naples Zoo is hosting a fun photo contest where entrants can post images of themselves feeding the giraffe at Naples Zoo or any great giraffe photo they have snapped. Three winners and a friend each with the most LIKES for their photo will enjoy a delightful breakfast in the giraffe area on Saturday morning, June 28 while they spend time with the giraffes' keepers as their tall friends look on. To enter, visit the Zoo's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/napleszoo and click the Giraffe Photo Contest tab. The contest is now open so photographers and giraffe feeders can enter anytime. The sooner you enter, the more LIKES you could get! Contest ends at noon on June 22, 2014.
 
Giraffe-Focused Scavenger Hunt for Zoo Membership


Between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on World Giraffe Day, trained volunteers are hosting special giraffe education stations in the southern gardens. Guests will discover how giraffes interact with other animals plus discover fun trivia while seeing bio-facts and other illustrative materials. One lucky winner will win their choice of a Family or Grandparent Naples Zoo Membership. Or if they're already one of the Zoo's 23,000 members, they will get a bonus year free!