L.A. ZOO ANNOUNCES BIRTH OF FEMALE MASAI GIRAFFE CALF FOR WORLD GIRAFFE DAY – JUNE 21

CONTACT: L.A. Zoo Press

June 21, 2018

Photo by Jamie Pham

The Los Angeles Zoo is happy to announce the birth of a female Masai giraffe calf, born on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, to mother, Hasina, and father, Phillip. The currently unnamed calf weighed in at 176 pounds and stands at around six feet tall. This will be the nine-year-old mother’s fourth calf and the six-year-old father’s third calf. Hasina and Phillip were paired together through a Species Survival Plan (SSP) program that breeds Masai giraffes in order to ensure the survival of a species that is threatened in the wild. The calf arrived just in time for World Giraffe Day, Thursday, June 21, which is a special day designated to shed light on the current conservation efforts for different subspecies of giraffe.

“She is one of the largest calves we’ve had born at the L.A. Zoo since I started working here in 2005,” said Mike Bona, animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo. “It is great timing that she was born before World Giraffe Day. Not only does her birth help continue the Zoo’s efforts in its giraffe breeding program, but it also gives us an opportunity to educate guests on giraffe conservation and the current threats that the species faces in the wild.

Giraffes are the tallest land mammal, and Masai giraffes can grow up to 17 feet tall and weigh 2,700 pounds. The largest of the nine subspecies of giraffe, Masai giraffes are found in East Africa, namely southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Giraffes are currently categorized as “vulnerable” because their populations are under threat and declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation, illegal hunting, and disease.

Guests can visit the calf and her giraffe herd during Zoo hours, weather permitting. When observing the calf bonding with the herd, be sure to check out the Zoo’s giraffe feedings. This interactive experience allows guests to get up close and personal with the adult Masai giraffes while feeding them their favorite greens and learning fun facts about the herd from Zoo education staff. Giraffe feedings take place twice daily from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and are $5 per person with paid Zoo admission. Tickets can be purchased (cash only) at the giraffe exhibit. Giraffe feedings are subject to weather-related changes, especially on rainy days.

About the Los Angeles Zoo

Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing nearly 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,400 animals representing 270 different species, 58 of which are endangered. Its lush grounds on 113 acres feature a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. The Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Admission is $21 for adults and $16 for children ages 2 to 12. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the L.A. Zoo Web site at www.lazoo.org.

About Species Survival Plan (SSP) Programs

An AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program strives to manage and conserve a select and typically threatened or endangered, ex situ species population with the cooperation of AZA-accredited institutions. SSP Programs develop a Breeding and Transfer Plan that identifies population management goals and recommendations to ensure the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied population. There are currently nearly 500 SSP Programs, each managed by their corresponding Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs), within AZA.