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Greenville Zoo to present “Protecting & Preserving the Giraffe” this Thursday
May 23, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Greenville Zoo will present its next conservation lecture this Thursday, May 23 at 7 p.m. at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (300 College Street). Guest speaker Dr. Francois Deacon from the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa will discuss the protection and preservation of the giraffe.
Dr. Deacon is a senior lecturer in the University of the Free State’s Department of Animal, Wildlife and Grassland Sciences and a wildlife habitat expert whose research is focused on giraffes in their natural habitat. He built a multi-specialty research team of 30 scientists from 10 different countries for his primary project to determine the ecological and biological factors that regulate giraffe and rhinos in their natural habitat. For the study, Dr. Deacon and his team developed and implemented a unique head harness equipped with a satellite GPS device. To-date, they have successfully captured and released 70 giraffes, without harm, at six different locations across southern Africa – an accomplishment that has led to the collection of data and the description of behavior that has never before been documented. This process was filmed by an international camera crew for the documentary, Catching Giants.
According to Dr. Nikolay Kapustin, deputy zoo administrator and veterinarian, in addition to receiving extensive media coverage and being featured in three National Geographic documentaries, Dr. Deacon’s long-term research and contributions to saving the giraffe from extinction on the African continent have also led to appearances at international conferences. “We are so fortunate that Dr. Deacon is gracious enough to fit in a visit to Greenville before returning home from the 2019 International Giraffid Conference being hosted by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium this week,” said Kapustin. “We look forward to Thursday’s lecture, where Dr. Deacon will discuss his pioneering project, as well as present information about the giraffe’s natural history and its endangered status.”
In honor of Dr. Deacon’s visit, the Greenville Zoo collaborated with RJ Rockers Brewing Company and Miles, the zoo’s male Masai giraffe, to create Giraffic Ale, alimited-edition specialty brew that will be available to all early admission ticket holders at the 10th anniversary of Brew in the Zoo presented by RJ Rockers on May 31 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are available at https://brewinthezoo.eventbrite.com.
The Greenville Zoo’s Conservation Lecture Series is free and open to the public and the subject matter is appropriate for the entire family. While not required, attendees are asked to pre-register online if possible. Free parking is available at the Heritage Green parking deck. Attendees should use the museum’s side entrance off of Academy Street.