Opening the event, Jānis Rudzītis, the chairman of the board of the Riga National Zoo, expressed his joy that the new giraffe has perfectly adapted to our Zoo, making one of the most important expositions much more interesting and engaging for our visitors: “These animals are globally endangered and included in the World Red Book. We are involved in the giraffe EEP program (European Endangered Species Programme) to work together with other zoos to conserve these extraordinary long-necked animals. Vakilia’s arrival at Riga Zoo last year is a great confirmation of the trust we have received from the program coordinators and the professionalism of our employees. Throughout this year, we have proudly kept the quality bar set high. It is a great pleasure for both us and the visitors.”
In the continuation of the event, giraffe copyist Aleksandra Mihailidi-Antonovska told about the characteristics of the two giraffes and the peculiarities of their feeding: “In the beginning, both animals lived in separate aviaries, but they could both smell and touch each other. When both were born, we put them together in one pen. As a young animal, Vakilia is eager to play, but Kimi is reserved and does not engage in much such activity. Since Vakilia has not yet grown up, it needs food richer in energy and minerals and vitamins. Therefore, today’s holiday cake as well as everyday meals contain several types of pellets, a little carrot for a treat and regularly also garlic. We make sure every day that our animals receive wholesome, balanced and healthy food.”
At the end of the event, both revelers could enjoy a “celebration cake in the taste of giraffes”, which was poured into special large bottles with holes so that Vakilia and Kimi would have to work harder – so to speak, the pleasure of enjoying the “cake” lasts longer.
The management of Riga Zoo reminds that everyone can congratulate the giraffes Vakilia and Kimi on their birthday by donating 25 euros for the purchase of the animal’s daily pellet portion! We publish the names of the benefactors with the date in the “Support” section of the Zoo’s website, where you can also find all the donation conditions (https://rigazoo.lv/lv/atbalsti/ziedo-zirafei-vakilijai), in addition, the name of the day’s donor is recorded on a special stand in the Giraffe headquarters.