ASHEBORO, NC - The North Carolina Zoo's "Acacia Station," a 16-foot high wooden platform that enables zoo visitors to hand feed giraffes, has been closed due to the pregnancy of one of the giraffes.

Jamili, a four-year-old female that has been at the zoo since March 2009, is expecting her first offspring any day, according to Keeper Supervisor Jennifer Ireland. The father is four-year-old "Jack," that also arrived in Asheboro in March 2009.

Due to the pending birth, the giraffes' availability is too inconsistent to offer the feeding program, Ireland said. For an additional $2 fee, the "Acacia Station" is normally open to visitors from April through October. But it will remain closed until the baby is born and the infant has adjusted to the exhibit and the other five giraffes in the zoo's collection.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dee A. Freeman, Secretary; Beverly E. Perdue, Governor.