Wild Night in Africa with Houston Zoo Giraffes. Giraffes!

The Houston Zoo's group of young supporters, Flock, were invited to the African Forest Exhibit to mix and mingle with the Masai giraffes and a few other animals.

Last night the Houston Zoo invited the Flock, the zoo’s group of young supporters, to visit the giraffe house at the new African Forest exhibit.

More than 100 visitors arrived to the after hours event and got an up-close encounter with eight Masai giraffes housed at the zoo. Guests were taken in groups to a barn where they were able to stand on an elevated platform to feed, pet and play with the long-necked, spotted herbivores. As it turns out, giraffes are wildly social and curious. Without much prodding they walked right up to the visitors to nibble from their hands, pose for photos and take a lick at guests’ toes.

The giraffes are just one area of the zoo’s African Forest exhibit, which opened late last year. The 6.5-acre habitat is home to a colony of chimps, white rhinos, and antelope. While guests didn’t get up close and personal with the rhinos, keepers brought a few animals to the party including Olivia, one of the guinea hogs, and Ernie, the North American porcupine.

Last night’s event is one of the zoo’s many private group functions. If you missed the event, we posted photos from last night. And if you were there and miss the giraffes, you can see them anytime on the zoo’s live web camera of the giraffe platform and barn.

We’ve attended several Flock events, and applaud the group whose mission is to inspire a new generation of zoo supporters.  Flock is underwritten by Momentum Audi and the evening’s event was sponsored by Freebirds, Saint Arnold Brewing Company,  and Yelp of Houston.  For more information on joining the Flock, visit www.houstonzoo.org/flock.

Be sure to check the Houston Zoo Event Calendar to plan your next visit to the zoo!

Last night’s photos!