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PHOTOS: Denver the giraffe celebrates 30th birthday Friday

TUCSON – Since she was a young calf, Denver the giraffe has called Reid Park Zoo home.

Now more than 30 years later, the giraffe will be celebrating her birthday with all her best friends that she has collected over the years.

According to Reid Park Zoo, Denver first came to the zoo in early 1990. She was said to have arrived right before her first birthday. Over that time, the beloved giraffe has given birth to four calves and charmed zookeepers and zoo patrons alike with her confident personality and spunk.

“Denver doesn’t know she’s a giraffe,”  Keeper Kelly, a Zoo Keeper at Reid Park Zoo, said. “Giraffes are skittish and very cautious by nature, but Denver will come right up to you. She’s very curious.”

With the Denver only a couple of months younger than the oldest giraffe in the nation, Reid Park Zoo wanted to make this significant milestone one for Denver and all of Tucson to remember.

The zoo celebrated her birthday one day earlier by laying out browse in the shape of the number 30 and a giraffe biscuit cake holding 30 birthday carrot “candles.”

On Friday, the zoo will allow the first 20 people at the 10 a.m. giraffe encounter to feed Denver a special birthday biscuit.

Zoo officials said Denver’s mother lived to be 32 years old.

For more information about the zoo, visit

Noel Sederstrom

Noel Sederstrom

Noel Sederstrom joined the KTTC-TV staff as News Director in February, 2008. He's a native Minnesotan, having grown up on a farm near Litchfield, and also spending a lot of time on Lake Vermilion near Tower-Soudan, where his grandfather Gust Saari worked in the Soudan Underground Mine. After studying journalism at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, Noel worked as a reporter, anchor, producer and Executive Producer at television stations in Duluth, Little Rock, Buffalo, Louisville and Kalamazoo, Michigan. Noel was the News Director at WWMT-TV in Kalamazoo for seven of his 18 years at the CBS affiliate before returning to Minnesota. He and his wife Cindy have two grown children and make their home in Rochester. Email Noel at
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