L.A. ZOO WELCOMES THE NEWEST – AND TALLEST – BABY TO THE ANIMAL COLLECTION – A FEMALE MASAI GIRAFFE CALF!

CONTACT: L.A. Zoo Press

October 17, 2019

Female Masai giraffe calf
Photo by Jamie Pham

The Los Angeles Zoo is happy to announce the birth of a female Masai giraffe calf born on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 to mother, Hasina, and father, Phillip. The currently unnamed calf weighed in at 138 pounds and stands at 6-foot-6. This will be the 11-year-old mother’s fifth calf and the 7-year-old father’s sixth 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 endangered in the wild.

“I am beyond thrilled to welcome this newest giraffe into our herd,” said Mike Bona, animal keeper at the L.A. Zoo. “Every Masai giraffe birth is important to this species, especially since they were officially declared endangered earlier this year. I hope every visitor that comes to see our new calf will also learn about their status in the wild and be inspired to help make a difference.”

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 listed as “endangered” as their populations throughout Africa are under threat and declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation, illegal hunting, and disease.

Guests can now visit the calf and her giraffe herd at the L.A. Zoo daily, weather permitting.

Additionally, Angelenos can learn more about the giraffe’s plight in the wild by attending the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers’ (AAZK-LA) fourth annual Laughs for Giraffes charity event on Sunday, Oct. 20 at Boomtown Brewery in Downtown L.A.’s Arts District. This stand-up comedy event features an all-star lineup of comedians and aims to raise awareness for this disappearing species through laughter, food trucks, beer and wine, and a silent auction. Tickets range from $35 to $75, and all of the proceeds from this event benefit the Giraffe Conservation Foundation,www.giraffeconservation.org, and the African Pangolin Working Group, www.africanpangolin.org. Tickets can be purchased through the AAZK-LA website, www.losangelesaazk.org or through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/71559748133.

About the Los Angeles Zoo

Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing more than 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 133 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 $22 for adults and $17 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 website 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.