KNOXVILLE, TN – July 15, 2019 – Zoo Knoxville is happy to announce the giraffe calf born on July 1 is a girl. This is the first giraffe birth at Zoo Knoxville in 17 years.
The baby is mastering the use of her long legs under the watchful eyes of her mother Frances and her caretakers in the zoo’s Grasslands Africa habitat. Her personality is already starting to emerge; she is described by curator Petty Grieve as inquisitive, adventurous, bold and sleepy. After her short, but energetic bursts exploring her new surroundings in the morning, she retires to the barn for a sequence of nursing and napping.
Her caretakers will gradually expand her access to the Grasslands habitat to allow her to become familiar as weather permits. While she has not been formally christened yet, the zoo plans to announce a name soon.
This is also the first offspring for three-year-old Frances and 16-year-old male Jumbe (pronounced JOOM-bay). The two were paired on the recommendation of the Giraffe Species Survival Plan, a collaboration of zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The population of wild giraffes has declined dramatically over the last few years, and now there are fewer than 100,000 giraffe left in Africa. They are threatened by habitat loss, competition with growing human populations and being hunted for meat. With a recent 40 percentage decrease in their populations, giraffes are now critically endangered, and this little giraffe is an important ambassador for her species.
About Zoo Knoxville
Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. Zoo Knoxville features exhibits of wild animals in natural habitats and is world renowned for its efforts in conservation and species survival. Zoo Knoxville is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. Knoxville’s largest attraction, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Currently, the zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. For more information, visit www.zooknoxville.org.
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