Heart of the Zoo

Edge of Africa Logo - Giraffe

Getting ready for a long and exciting future at the zoo!

Henry Vilas Zoo is developing a new home for our giraffes! Animal welfare is always our highest priority and the giraffe building is out of date and no longer meets space requirements. AZA accreditation standards have also advanced zoological understanding of appropriate environments for giraffes. When completed, the new exhibit will serve as the year-round home for the giraffes and will be the first project in a series of new exhibits in an area of the Zoo that will be known as Edge of Africa.

About the New Giraffe Barn


Within this new facility, our dedicated keepers can provide exceptional care for our giraffes and nurture the loving relationship they have with these animals. Our new giraffe barn will be state-of-the-art and will provide the necessary modern amenities for the health and well-being of our giraffe. It will also offer more accessibility for guests and a more meaningful interaction with this endangered species.

Select an image below to enlarge.


Features of the new Giraffe Barn

  • Area for medical procedures and husbandry training
  • Area for weighing
  • A giant indoor “herd room”
  • Built-in enrichment features
  • Indoor and outdoor feeding platforms for guests to get up close and personal in a safe manner.

How You Can Help


The Dane County Board of Commissioners have committed $9,300,000 towards the projected cost of the barn in the 2024 budget. Giraffe barn groundbreaking is tentatively scheduled to take place in spring of 2025 with an initial goal of opening the barn in 2027.

In addition to Dane County’s support, we will need help from the community. If you are interested in helping us with this exciting new facility, please fill out the form below and we will get back to you. We would welcome a conversation about the many opportunities available for all who love Henry Vilas Zoo to help us with our vibrant future!

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Get more information about our upcoming plans for the future!


All About Giraffes!


Learn more about these amazing animals.