New Giraffe Exhibit Opening February 15 at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Sanford, FL (February 4, 2014) The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is excited to announce the addition of a new giraffe exhibit opening on February 15. The exhibit will be the home to two male giraffes, Rafiki and Emba. Rafiki is a two year old male from Lion Country Safari. Rafiki is Swahili for “friend.” Emba is a 19 year old male from White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, Florida. Emba is a retired breeder. Adding Emba to our Zoo benefits the genetic diversity by allowing a new male to be added to the herd at White Oak Conservation Center. The Grand Opening is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Saturday February 15.

“Giraffes are popular zoo animals and we are excited to add these animals to our collection,” said Joe Montisano, Zoo CEO. “One of our goals at the Zoo is to educate our guests of all ages and to make the zoo experience a memorable one. We will add giraffe feedings March 14 to further enhance their visit. We invite all of Central Florida to the Zoo to see the world’s tallest animal.”

Giraffes are found in scattered areas of Africa ranging from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east. Giraffes live in savannas, grasslands, and open woodlands.

Giraffes are the tallest terrestrial animal living on Earth. Females generally reach a height of up to 14 feet while males can reach a height of up to 18 feet. Females may weigh up to 1,500 to 1,800 pounds while males can weigh in at up to 3,000 to 3,500 pounds.

Giraffes can live up to 25 years in the wild. Adult giraffes have few predators except for lions, crocodiles, and humans.

About the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens - The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is a 501 (C) 3 not-for-profit conservation resource providing experiences that excite and inspire children and adults to learn and act on behalf of wildlife. For more information regarding the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens visit or call 407.323.4450. The Zoo is located on I-4 Exit 104 in Sanford and is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For more information on the Central Florida Zoo contact:

Brenda New, Business Communications Manager
407.323.4450 ext. 117 or