Knoxville Zoo has been giving zoo-goers a brand new experience in recent weeks — the opportunity to get eye level with a giraffe and offer them a snack at the all-new Williams Family Giraffe Encounter.
The Williams Family Giraffe Encounter opened July 15 and will be open to visitors from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Featuring a two-story tall covered deck, this habitat is a new addition to the zoo’s Grasslands Africa. The new area gives visitors a giraffe’s eye view of their habitat.
Beginning each day at 10:30 a.m. and continuing until the day’s allotment of produce is gone, guests can purchase a tempting treat for $5 and have the exhilarating experience of offering them to the zoo’s three giraffes, male Jumbe, (pronounced JOOM-bay), and females Patches and Lucille.
The Williams Family Giraffe Experience was generously underwritten by Knoxville Zoo Board Chairman Tim Williams and his wife, Amy.
“In the past, this was an experience that we could only offer in a limited capacity,” said Tim Williams. “Now all our visitors can enjoy a VIP introduction to one of the zoo’s most popular animals.”
Knoxville Zoo members are invited to try this new giraffe feeding experience for free through July 31. Food will be available for purchase for non-members as well.
Schedules are subject to change as the giraffe will have final say about any modifications to the feeding and viewing schedule as they acclimate to this new enrichment option.
Knoxville Zoo is Knoxville’s largest year-round attraction. Located off exit 392A from Interstate 40, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Day. Knoxville Zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation and education. Currently, the zoo is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. Next-day admission is free after 3 p.m.
For more information, call (865) 637-5331 or visit www.knoxvillezoo.org.