Acclaimed Giraffe Researcher Visits Oakland Zoo for Special Engagement

Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — On Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 12:00pm, Oakland Zoo welcomes renowned Conservation Scientist Dr. Julian Fennessy, Executive Director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF). He has spent more than sixteen years studying giraffe related activities across Africa. The Zoo is honored be part of Fennessy’s U.S. tour, where he calls attention to the significant and urgent conservation issues facing giraffes all over Africa. A guest lecture featuring Dr. Julian Fennessy will take place in the Zoo’s Marian Zimmer Auditorium. The public, along with zookeepers and animal enthusiasts are invited to attend this engagement free of charge; however, donations will be made to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.

"As long time supporters of GCF, we are thrilled to be hosting Dr. Julian Fennessy of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in the Bay Area this October,” said Amy Phelps, Lead Giraffe Keeper. “It is a an exciting opportunity to have an expert of his caliber at our Zoo, working directly with our giraffe team. It is a true honor to have him here and we hope all giraffe enthusiasts will join us to hear him speak on October 14th at Oakland Zoo."

Zookeepers look forward to discussing wild giraffe behavior and social organization with Dr. Fennessy, receiving new ideas to further enhance the lives of the Zoo’s giraffe herd. His expertise will be used to create more opportunities for natural giraffe behavior and social relationships.

“It is time: we need to save giraffes now before it is too late,” said Dr. Julian Fennessey, Executive Director of GCF. “Taking up the help at GCF is exciting, and a key step to collaborate more closely with the network of giraffe conservationists and managers across the African continent – and further afield. Giraffe numbers are dwindling across the continent and this is happening largely unnoticed. With a drop of more than 40% of the population in the last 15 years, if we do not act now they will disappear before our eyes. We really do not want that to happen on our watch – and by ‘we’ I mean all of us. I look forward to increasing awareness of giraffe conservation while at the same time making a difference on the ground – it’s not too late yet.”

For additional information about Oakland Zoo’s special engagement, please contact Amy Phelps, Lead Keeper, at amyp(at)oaklandzoo(dot)org or call (510) 632-9525, ext 100.

Dr. Fennessy’s other Bay Area engagements include stops at Safari West, the San Francisco Zoo, and the Wildlife Conservation Network Expo on October 11 in San Francisco. For details on the WCN event, visit

About Dr. Julian Fennessy:

According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, Dr. Fennessy is a leading Conservation Scientist and Co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Giraffe & Okapi Specialist Group. He has over sixteen years experience in species and habitat ecology, conservation and land management across the African continent (and Australia), with a particular expertise in focal giraffe related activities across Africa. His experience in the field of giraffe conservation is something few others can boast, from individual field projects, supervision of students, population country-wide assessments, to expert advisor on (sub) species conservation strategies. Dr. Fennessy has conducted numerous conservation expeditions across the continent including in Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Niger, Uganda, and Zambia. Julian holds a PhD in Biological Science from the University of Sydney, Australia based on his work in Namibia – the ecology of the desert-dwelling giraffe in Namibia’s Northwest.

About Oakland Zoo:

The Bay Area’s award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid’s activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo supports wildlife conservation both locally and globally. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at


Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR


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