Let’s Welcome Eddie!

It’s official: the NEW Zoo & Adventure Park is set to welcome Eddie the giraffe, from the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin, this coming Tuesday, October 10th. Dane County’s Henry Vilas Zoo announced today that it is planning for the construction of a new giraffe habitat, and so 14-year-old Eddie will make the journey to Green Bay to join current giraffe residents, Nigel and Zuri. In preparation for Eddie’s move, staff from both zoos have worked together for many weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

“There’s a lot of conversations that go on between accredited zoos, to ensure every animal has the best possible home,” says Drew Dinehart, Curator of Animals. “We sent zookeepers to visit the Henry Vilas Zoo to meet Eddie and get to know him, and Henry Vilas Zoo sent staff here to see our giraffe habitat and to make sure that Eddie will fit in well with our small herd.”

Eddie is known to be a “laid back” giraffe who likes to keep an eye on his habitat and his caretakers – and he always seems to be ready for a tasty snack. “Some of his favorite treats are romaine lettuce and fresh browse,” adds Dinehart, “so we’re excited to have him eventually participate in our Giraffe Feeding Experience.”

Just how soon Eddie might participate in the Feeding Experience, however, will be entirely up to him. “We always let the animals lead in these situations and tell us when they’re comfortable,” says Carmen Murach, NEW Zoo Director. “Eddie will first meet Nigel and Zuri through a fence, in a quiet space away from crowds. We’ll monitor those interactions carefully before opening gates and allowing all three giraffes to get to know one another fully. Everything is done on the giraffes’ timetable, not on ours.”

The zoo remains hopeful that the giraffes will bond quickly, and that Eddie may be available for guests to see and meet throughout the month of October during North Shore Bank Zoo Boo. In the meantime, the public is invited to come to the NEW Zoo on Tuesday, October 10th to create a “welcoming committee” during Eddie’s arrival.

“We’d love to see people here with homemade ‘Welcome, Eddie’ signs on Tuesday,” says Murach. “After all, it’s not often that people get a chance to see how a giraffe travels! This is a great opportunity to visit the Zoo, enjoy the fall weather and scenery, and get a first-hand look at Eddie’s arrival.”

Although the exact date and time of Eddie’s travel plans could change based on weather conditions and other factors, his tentative arrival is currently set for between 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. on October 10th. The Zoo will use social media to provide updates on Eddie’s arrival that day. Follow the NEW Zoo & Adventure Park on Facebook to remain “in the loop:” facebook.com/NEWZooGB

Get in touch