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Arts & Culture

Buffalo Zoo gives giraffes shady space

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The giraffes at the Buffalo Zoo are now able to seek some shade when roaming in their outside exhibit.

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Giraffe view at Parkside Avenue and Amherst Street from the Buffalo Zoo.

If you’re traveling by the Buffalo Zoo at Parkside Avenue and Amherst Street you should notice a giant umbrella-like structure in the Giraffe exhibit. It’s a brand new state-of-the-art shade structure. 

Buffalo Zoo Marketing Director Todd Giese said the shade was a recommended.

“With the direction of the sun and a very open giraffe yard that we have, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums felt that we needed some level of short of center yard structure for them to provide shade,” said Giese. 


Community Papers of Western New York spearheaded a year-long fundraising campaign. Towne Mini provided a Mini Cooper for a give-away. $30,000 was raised for the Zoo's purchase $35,000 purchase.

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Janet Gane, Todd Giese & Mike Monteith.

“And I think we engaged with people on a different level,” remarked Janet Gane of Community Papers. “We weren’t doing it as a corporate entity, but as a community entity and I think that’s what made all the difference.”

Mike Monteith is general manager of Towne Mini. 

“So for us this was just an obvious decision. It’s important to us all the way through the whole community and the Zoo, being such a critical part, I think we are excited about that – it’s terrific,” Monteith explained.

Visitors were thrilled to see the new shade-structure.

“I think all the updates to the Zoo look really good,” said Katelyn Peters of Buffalo. “I think it is nice that the giraffes were able to come outside more often and have a shady spot.”

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Katelyn Peters, Loren Olendorf & Lindsey Olendorf visiting the Zoo.

The shade structure also provides head-level feeding for the Zoo's five giraffes. 

"I love the umbrella. It’s so cool,” said Lindsey Olendorf of Buffalo was visiting the Zoo Wednesday.  

Olendorf and her sister, Loren, stood outside the giraffe exhibit waiting to watch the giraffe head under the new shade structure.

“I love coming here to see them because they are such a unique creature and their spots are like maybe difference sizes and different ways on different giraffes,” noted Loren Olendorf. “In my opinion, they’re like the tallest animals, since dinosaurs don’t exist.”

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