DETROIT – The Detroit Zoo is welcoming a 2-year-old female giraffe named Zara to the herd.
Zara arrived from the Peoria, Illinois zoo. Zara’s arrival means the Detroit Zoo now has four giraffes. The other giraffes are Mpenzi, his mom Kivuli and his dad Jabari.
“We’re happy to welcome Zara to the herd,” said Scott Carter, chief life sciences officer for the Detroit Zoological Society. “She has a very calm demeanor and seems eager to learn new things.”
Zara was brought to the Detroit Zoo on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Program (SSP).
“There is serious conservation concern with wild giraffe populations due to poaching, loss of habitat, and the effects of war and civil unrest across Africa. We believe the giraffes at the Detroit Zoo are strong ambassadors for their cousins in the wild,” Carter said.
Zara was placed in quarantine for several weeks before she was introduced to the other giraffes at the zoo. That is customary with new arrivals.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared giraffes officially in danger of extinction in 2016.
Giraffe numbers have decreased in the wild by more than 40 percent in recent decades, resulting in the species moving to the “Vulnerable” category on the IUCN Red List.