The Oscars, the Emmys, the Heisman, Employee of the Year; there are lots of awards out there and now there’s one that recognizes the Zoo Boise animals! The animal residents at Zoo Boise do so much to help their counterparts in the wild and it’s time we honor them for the work they’re doing! We are excited to announce that we are teaming up with U.S. Bank and zoo guests like you to name this year’s Zoo Boise Animal of the Year.
We will nominate an animal each season and at the end of the year Zoo Boise guests will vote on which animal will win U.S. Bank Animal of the Year! Zoo Boise animals were nominated for various reasons: being an ambassador for their species, helping to raise conservation dollars, inspiring the next generation of animal protectors, participation in a Species Survival Plan, and being a vital part of their zoo family!
We’re excited to announce that the U.S. Bank Animal of Fall is Jabari the Giraffe! Jabari isn’t just tall, exotic, and has eyelashes that would make any Instagram influencer jealous, he also graciously participates in the Perkins Coie Giraffe Encounter! During the Giraffe Encounter, guests can pay $3 to feed Jabari some lettuce and 100% of those proceeds goes to the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund to help protect wildlife in Idaho and all over the world.
Jabari came to Zoo Boise from Safari West in 2010, the same year that Zoo Boise started doing our Giraffe Encounter. Since 2010, the Giraffe Encounter has raised more than $290,000 for wildlife conservation! That money has helped the rebirth of Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, restore the Boise foothills, protect snow leopards with the Snow Leopard Trust, and much more. It’s because of zoo guests like you, sponsors like U.S. Bank, and the amazing zoo animals, that Zoo Boise has been able to raise more than $3 million for wildlife conservation. See the entire list of organizations supported by the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund at https://zooboise.org/conservation/conservation-grants/.
Here are some quotes about Jabari and why you might want to vote for him for U.S. Bank Animal of the Year:
Marci, Former Zoo Boise Educator – “I’ve seen him make friends with geese, make huge strides in training, and burp in the faces of delighted guests. Jabari is like his wild counterparts and we are fortunate to have him be part of our team working to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for wildlife conservation.”
Tierney, Zoo Boise Educator – “Jabari is a fantastic example of how zoos and aquariums can help people connect with wildlife. In the 9 years or so that Jabari has been at Zoo Boise and participating in the Giraffe Encounter, thousands of visitors have been able to get up close to a giraffe, feel his 18-inch tongue on their hand and know, that by feeding Jabari, he is an acting ambassador for all giraffes in the wild. I love to see the excitement and joy on someone’s face when they feed him! To know that through the moments and experiences we create, like the Giraffe Encounter, people are able to find joy, amazement and respect for wildlife! I think that makes our jobs and Jabari’s job pretty darn amazing.”
The Perkins Coie Giraffe Encounter is currently closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, but watch Zoo Boise’s social media channels and website for updates when it will open again.
Be on the lookout for our next nomination in the winter and for your chance to vote on the U.S. Bank Animal of the Year. Once again, it’s because of guests like you, sponsors like U.S. Bank, and the amazing zoo animals that Zoo Boise has become a leader in supporting wildlife conservation. #CommunityPossible