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An exclusive look at the reopening of the giraffe-feeding exhibit at the Naples Zoo

The Naples Zoo is giving you the opportunity to get up close and personal with the world’s tallest animal. WINK News reporter Gina Tomlinson gets an exclusive look at the exhibit before it opens to the public.

Many have missed the giraffe exhibit since it closed in March and the giraffes have missed you too.

Cindy Hall is a representative with the Naples Zoo. “They are used to being around people, quite a few people especially during the winter months,” Hall said.

These tall, spotted creatures are hungry for more visitors. Especially one giraffe named Brewler. “Brewler for people who have visited the feeding station before even if you have a picture with a giraffe in your picture there is a really good chance he is that one,” said Hall.

With the giraffe feeding exhibit shut down for months, Hall says zookeepers did their best to keep Brewler’s heart and belly full.

“I think one of the signs that told me that Brewler missed people is when people did show up,” said Hall. “‘All eyes and ears were focused on them and would walk up and kind of attempt to interact with them.”

The renovations to the beloved exhibit gives visitors and giraffe much more room to interact. Gina got the chance to interact with him as well. “Are you hungry buddy? oh wow, his tongue feels like sandpaper,” she said.

Adrienn Mazoni frequents the exhibit. “This is always the high attraction to come here and feed the giraffes.. we love that,” she said.

Sandy Sheppard visits often too. “It’s the only animal you really get to interact with,” said Sheppard.

Sandy and others do try to keep human interactions low right now, but the zoo has been a saving grace. “It’s outside, you can socially distance of course,” Sheppard said.

The exhibit opens at 10 a.m. on Saturday and you are being asked to wear a mask inside the feeding area. Another part of the renovation features a small cafe and new restrooms.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Drew Hill
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