Niabi Zoo unveils new structure to keep giraffes cool

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COAL VALLEY, Ill. Thanks to a $40,000 grant, Niabi Zoo's giraffes, Kenya and Twiga, will have a place to find shade and keep cool this summer.

The Niabi Zoo team gathered with members of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission to unveil the new giraffe structure Wednesday morning. It now stands next to the feeding deck so the giraffes can eat under shade.

Zoo staff say providing adequate shade for the biggest animals at Niabi Zoo was no easy task. Kenya is a 16-foot-tall, 2300 lb male Reticulated Giraffe, and Twiga is a slightly smaller Northern Giraffe at 13 feet tall and 1300 lbs.

The structure was made possible mostly thanks to the Robert and Blenda Ontiveros Non-Endowed Donor Advised Fund.

Niabi Zoo will also be celebrating World Giraffe Day on June 22, with special activities like giraffe feedings, trainings and zookeeper chats at the giraffe exhibit.