Public Relations

Public Relations

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San Diego Zoo Will “Shake, Rattle and Roar” During Nighttime Zoo; Cymer Sponsors Zoo’s Annual Summer Event

PrintThere is always so much to see at the San Diego Zoo, and during Nighttime Zoo, presented by Cymer, there is so much to hear, too. Beginning Sunday, June 21, guests can stay at the Zoo until 9 p.m. and experience toe-tapping, body-moving music in a variety of sounds and styles throughout the afternoon and evening, including rock tunes through the decades, festive mariachi melodies, a brass band and even a cappella harmonies. The Zoo has also added a 15,500-square-foot exhibit for Asian leopards that is the new entrance to the the Barlin-Kahn Family Panda Trek.

On Front Street, Zoo guests will be treated to the sounds of The Chameleons, a brass band that changes tunes like its namesake changes colors. From funk to Beach Boys and beyond, their musical stylings—and jokes—are sure to bring a smile. The Front Street Mariachis are a talented trio who also perform on the Embery Stage and will provide a festive musical flair by blending trumpet, strings and voices. For guests who like to dance, be sure to catch the Funky Monkeys. These agile and exuberant dancers have some fun and fresh new moves. Their jazzy hip-hop-with-a-twist style just might work their way into your own dance repertoire.

As guests tour the Zoo, perhaps venturing down Hippo Trail to see the hippo calf, Devi, and her mother Funani, they will find more music and entertainment. “Tunes in the Treetops,” will bring back memories, or make new ones, for guests who enjoy “old timey” piano melodies.

In Panda Canyon, Zoo visitors shouldn’t miss the new Asian Leopard exhibit. The multi-level living space for these endangered cats is filled with rock outcroppings, slopes and felled trees to encourage climbing, foraging and other natural behaviors. The habitat has four separate exhibits with enclosed, overhead passageways above the visitor walkway, which allow the leopards to cross between exhibits. The ability to change the passageways and access for the cats is another element of enrichment for the animals. The Amur leopards and snow leopards live separately but will have opportunities to trade living areas.

If guests venture to see the jaguar cub and its mother in Elephant Odyssey, they can stop by Sabertooth Grill where The Alley Cats will be rocking to the sweet sounds of Doo Wop. The group serves up tight harmonies, humor, and pure a cappella energy.

In Urban Jungle, where there are three koala joeys making their way out of the mothers’ pouches, the trampoline has been set up for “Viva Las Kangas,” a performance that tells the story of acrobatic “kangaroos” who visit Las Vegas and flip (and bounce) over songs by popular Las Vegas headliners. Across the road at the Koalafornia Boardwalk, Dr. Zoolittle has built his “Music Factory” with a score of ways to have fun exploring music.

To end the evening of Nighttime Zoo events, the Zoo has added a spectacular music, light, and video experience at the newly remodeled Wegeforth Bowl. The show, Earth Rhythms, features how humans have always been influenced by the sounds of Nature. In a dazzling blend of music, video and special effects, the connection between the two comes into mesmerizing focus. The show plays each evening at 8:30 p.m.

During Nighttime Zoo, which runs Sunday, June 21 through Monday, Sept. 7, the Zoo is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. All Nighttime Zoo activities and entertainment are included with admission to the San Diego Zoo.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts representing both plants and animals at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The important conservation and science work of these entities is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS, 619-685-3291
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San Diego Zoo Global Commends California Assembly for Passing Ivory and Rhino Horn Ban

Nola, a 41-year-old, a critically endangered female northern white rhino, creates a one-of-a-kind art piece at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Nola, a 41-year-old, a critically endangered female northern white rhino, creates a one-of-a-kind art piece at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

On June 2, the California State Assembly voted to pass AB 96, legislation introduced by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, which would close loopholes that prevent the effective enforcement of existing California law prohibiting the sale of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn. The legislation will be reviewed by the Senate Natural Resources committee on June 23. San Diego Zoo Global has been a proponent of this legislation and recently held a “Rally 4 Rhinos” (#Rally4Rhinos) to help show public interest in saving rhinos.

“San Diego Zoo Global commends Assembly Speaker Atkins and the Assembly on their efforts to enforce the ban on elephant ivory and rhino horn products in California,” stated Douglas Myers, president, San Diego Zoo Global. “Elephants and rhinos are being slaughtered at alarming rates and could become extinct in our lifetime. In keeping with our effort to save species, we have been working to raise awareness for their plight and efforts to combat poaching.”

In appreciation of the Assembly’s action, San Diego Zoo Global is presenting Atkins with a unique piece of artwork created by one of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s residents, a critically endangered, 41-year-old northern white rhino named Nola.

To create the art, Nola’s keepers placed non-toxic paint on a canvas, held the canvas in front of Nola, and at the rhino’s discretion, she used her horn to move the paint. Nola is rare in that her primary horn grows downward, rather than growing upward like most rhinos, providing her with the perfect “paintbrush”. Nola participated in the art session as part of an enrichment activity provided by her keepers. Enrichment provides animals with physical and mental stimulation, changing up their daily routine.

The Rally 4 Rhinos was held at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on Endangered Species Day, May 15. The event was attended by representatives from Assembly Speaker Atkins’ office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Save the Elephants, Northern Rangelands Trust, the Cincinnati Zoo, as well as Safari Park guests, school children, celebrities and other government officials. San Diego Zoo Global officials shared information on its efforts and collaboration with other entities to spread the word about rhinos, illegal wildlife trafficking, and how everyone can be part of saving a species from extinction.

As part of San Diego Zoo Global’s Rally 4 Rhinos campaign, the public was asked to celebrate Endangered Species Day by spreading the word about rhino poaching, writing a rhino conservation message on their hand, taking a photo, and posting the photo to social media using the hashtag #Rally4Rhinos. The campaign spread like wildfire, reaching around the world, with postings from San Diego, the Eiffel Tower in France, Vietnam, the Parliament building in the U.K., rhino preserves in South Africa, and beyond.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts representing both plants and animals at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The important conservation and science work of these entities is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

Photo taken by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Global

CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS, 619-685-3291

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Amur Leopard Explores New Habitat at San Diego Zoo Asian Leopard Exhibit Expands Barlin-Kahn Family Panda Trek

Primorye, a 4-year-old male Amur leopard climbs on a rock at the top of his new habitat at the recently expanded Barlin-Kahn Family Panda Trek area of the San Diego Zoo.

Primorye, a 4-year-old male Amur leopard climbs on a rock at the top of his new habitat at the recently expanded Barlin-Kahn Family Panda Trek area of the San Diego Zoo.

Two Amur and one snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo have been acclimating to their new exhibits for the last week in preparation for the expansion of The Barlin-Kahn Family Panda Trek area of the Zoo. The 16,500-square-foot habitat includes 5,500 square feet of multi-level living space with rock outcroppings and slopes with felled trees to encourage climbing, foraging and other natural behaviors. Two other snow leopards will be moved to the new habitat next week.

The habitat has four separate exhibits with enclosed, overhead passageways above the visitor walkway allowing the leopards to cross between exhibits. The ability to change the passageways and access for the cats is another element of enrichment for the animals. The Amur leopards and snow leopards will live separately but will have opportunities to trade living areas.

“The overhead passageways are one of the exciting features of this exhibit,” said Todd Speis, senior keeper, San Diego Zoo. “This feature allows the cats to get up high, which is a unique way for the visitor to observe the cat, and it’s also a place a cat naturally wants to be—it wants to be high where it can see its whole territory.”

The San Diego Zoo has two Amur leopard brothers, and one male and two female snow leopards. Additional animals will be brought to the Zoo to create breeding pairs for both species of big cats in the future. With plans to breed both species, one of the four exhibits in the new habitat can be used as a nursery for a mother and her cubs, with a glass viewing area for guests.

More than 1,600 donors contributed the $3 million dollars needed to build the habitat designed specifically for large cats. This is one of the first steps in moving animals out of the Zoo’s aging exhibits which have gone through several upgrades over the years.

The Amur leopard is believed to have just 40 individuals left in its native habitat of southern Russia and northern China. There are only 300 Amur leopards in zoos around the world, making it the most critically endangered big cat on the planet. The home range of snow leopards is the cold, rugged mountains of central Asia. It is estimated that just 7,000 snow leopards exist in the wild.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts representing both plants and animals at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The important conservation and science work of these entities is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

Photo taken on June 4, 2015, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo

CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS, 619-685-3291

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Endangered Lemur Baby Being Cared for in San Diego Zoo’s Nursery

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An 11-day-old ring-tailed lemur is getting round-the-clock  TLC in the Zoo’s Neonatal Assisted Care Unit.

A female ring-tailed lemur, an endangered species, is currently being cared for by animal care staff in the San Diego Zoo’s neonatal assisted care facility.  First-time mom, Tweena, gave birth to the baby on May 20 and immediately exhibited motherly instincts, holding her baby and being attentive with her from the start.  However, on Sunday, May 24, animal care staff noticed the baby appeared weak and became concerned that it may not be receiving proper nutrition.  The baby was moved to the Zoo’s nursery, where she is being cared for round-the-clock.  She is currently being  bottle fed every two hours and appears to be doing well.

Lemurs are highly social animals, and in order to facilitate the family’s introduction process, Tweena and Matthew, the sire of the baby, were also moved to the neonatal care unit so the family unit could hear and smell each other. To provide additional bonding time between mom and daughter, Tweena is allowed to groom and lick her baby through the wire mesh of her enclosure.

“We hope that things will go really well with the baby and as soon as she’s strong enough we will reunite the two, and Tweena will get a chance to raise her own baby,” said Janet Hawes, lead keeper for San Diego Zoo Global.

Lemurs are native to Madagascar, an island off the southeast coast of Africa. There are numerous species of lemurs, with ring-tailed lemurs among the most populous and easily recognized with their long nose, big eyes, wooly fur and long, black-and-white-ringed tail. Ring-tailed lemurs are mostly active during the day; unlike other lemurs, they spend more time on the ground than in trees. They are omnivores, eating primarily fruits, leaves, flowers, herbs, bark and sap.

All lemurs are threatened or endangered primarily due to habitat destruction, but they are also hunted for food and unfortunately frequently kept as pets. San Diego Zoo Global is a managing member of the Madagascar Fauna Group, a conservation organization dedicated to assisting the Malagasy conserve their plant and animal biodiversity.

Guests visiting the Zoo can see the baby lemur in the Children’s Zoo nursery in the Zoo’s Discovery Outpost.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents.  The important conservation and science work of these entities is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS, 619-685-3291

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Penguin Cam Offers Live Views of Adorable Birds

PrintA live cam showing the antics of two young penguins at the San Diego Zoo’s Children’s Zoo debuts today. The new cam, featuring penguins Dan and McKinney, is part of a popular feature of the San Diego Zoo Global website and can be accessed at sandiegozoo100.org/penguincam.

The two young penguins are residing at the Children’s Zoo while their new habitat, Penguin Beach, is being built.  Penguin Beach, which opens in 2017 in Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks, will resemble southern Africa’s shoreline with a sandy beach nestled among towering boulders. Gentle waves from a more than 60,000-gallon penguin pool will lap on the sand and guests will be afforded close-up and underwater viewing. Also included are 30 burrows that lead to nest boxes in a penguin care center, where parents can nurture their chicks. The new habitat is being funded largely by a $5 million gift from local philanthropists Dan and Vi McKinney. The McKinneys’ leadership gift, along with support from 1,550 additional donors, will enable the Zoo to create Penguin Beach, a seashore habitat and breeding center that will be home to as many as 50 African penguins.

African penguins face many threats in the wild, and they are one of the most endangered species of penguin.  From 2001 to 2009, researchers have noticed a decrease in the African penguin population by more than 60%, making the conservation of this species critical.

San Diego Zoo Global is taking a leadership role in conservation awareness and hosts more than 275,000 schoolchildren on grounds at the San Diego Zoo each year. San Diego Zoo Global works with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) on conservation efforts for African penguins in South Africa and is part of the conservation action plan called SAFE. This program is a biodiversity management plan looking at challenges and concerns these birds are facing in the wild, including commercial fishing, human disturbance of habitat and oil spills.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The work of these entities is made accessible to children through the San Diego Zoo Kids network, reaching out through the Internet and in children’s hospitals nationwide. The work of San Diego Zoo Global is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS, 619-685-3291
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Tiny Backpacks on Small Owls Helps Conservation

Global_logo_color webConservationists working with the San Diego Zoo Global Institute of Conservation Research are using pint-size data tracking systems to monitor the movements and social systems of burrowing owls in San Diego County.  The tracking mechanisms are placed in tiny backpacks carried by each owl.

“The backpacks are small enough that they are not affecting the birds,” said Colleen Wisinski, lead researcher for San Diego Zoo Global. “The information we are collecting will be critical to scientific management of this species through adding to our understanding of social structure and movement.”

Burrowing owls are small diurnal birds that live in burrows in the ground throughout much of the southwestern United States.  Predatory in nature but small in stature, the cute owls catch insects and small rodents for food.  In recent years, conservationists have become increasingly concerned as populations appear to be shrinking.  San Diego Zoo Global researchers are working to understand the species’ lifestyle so that future conservation efforts can be most effective.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The work of these entities is inspiring children through the San Diego Zoo Kids network, reaching out through the Internet and in children’s hospitals nationwide. The work of San Diego Zoo Global is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS, 619-685-3291
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100-Year-Old Turtle Given Last Chance to Breed; Only 4 Left of Giant Turtle Species

Global_logo_color webA female Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) – potentially the last female of her species – has been artificially inseminated at the Suzhou Zoo in China. The procedure, an international effort, brought together top scientists from the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), San Diego Zoo Global, Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Bronx Zoo, Changsha Zoo, Suzhou Zoo and the China Zoo Association, and provides a ray of hope in a continuing effort to save the world’s most endangered turtle.

WCS China Reptile Program Director and coordinator of the Rafetus swinhoei breeding program, Dr. Lu Shunqing, mediated the program agreement among the partners and has coordinated the program during the past eight years.

“We had to find out if the last known male in China no longer produces viable sperm due to old age or an inability to inseminate the female,” said Dr. Gerald Kuchling, organizer of the artificial insemination effort and Rafetus breeding program leader for the TSA.

There are four Yangtze giant softshell turtles remaining in existence – two in Vietnam (both thought to be males) and two in China at the Suzhou Zoo (a male and female). The male and female—both believed to be greater than 100 years of age—were brought together in 2008 as part of a captive breeding program designed to recover the species. Although the two turtles have displayed courting behavior, eggs laid by the female were infertile.

To determine the cause of the infertility, Suzhou Zoo, Changsha Zoo, and the China Zoo Association requested TSA assemble a team of scientists to conduct a reproductive evaluation of the male, collect semen, determine if he had viable sperm, and, if viable sperm could be demonstrated, artificially inseminate the female.

During the process, the male was determined to have damaged sex organs, perhaps due to a fight with another male decades ago. For this reason, the scientists believe the male incapable of inseminating the female, and therefore, fertilizing the eggs.

“Normal semen parameters for Rafetus are unknown as this was the first attempt to collect and examine sperm from this species,” said Dr. Barbara Durrant, Director of Reproductive Physiology at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. “The semen evaluation revealed that approximately half of the sperm were motile.”

This attempt marks the first time artificial insemination has been tried with any softshell turtle species and, based on results of insemination attempts with other turtles, the odds are not good for success. With natural breeding unsuccessful however, the scientists felt it was time to explore this option. Both turtles recovered from the procedure in good condition.

“This was a great exploration to advance the conservation of Rafetus swinhoei, however, we can not yet determine if the exploration was successful or not,” said Director Chen Daqing of Suzhou Zoo. The female will lay the eggs in a few weeks and in a couple of weeks after that, the scientists will know if the eggs are fertile.

Listed at the top of the World Conservation Union’s Red List, the Yangtze giant softshell turtle is the most critically endangered turtle in the world. Its status in the wild has long been recognized as grim, but extinction risk now is believed higher than ever. Much of its demise has been attributed to over-harvesting and habitat degradation.

The Turtle Survival Alliance is transforming passion for turtles into effective conservation action through a global network of living collections and recovery programs.  The Turtle Survival Alliance envisions a future with zero turtle extinctions.  To achieve our mission, the Turtle Survival Alliance is restoring populations in the wild, where possible, building capacity to resolve, secure and conserve species within their range country, and securing species in captivity through breeding programs, both in and outside the range country.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on Earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The work of these entities is inspiring children through the San Diego Zoo Kids network, reaching out through the Internet and in children’s hospitals nationwide. The work of San Diego Zoo Global is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS, 619-685-3291
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Tag, You’re It!

The public is invited to help select a name for the Zoo's rambunctious jaguar cub.

The public is invited to help select a name for the Zoo’s rambunctious jaguar cub.

A jaguar cub taps his mother playfully during a morning spent outside at the San Diego Zoo. Animal care staff has been giving the mother, Nindiri, and the wobbly-legged cub access to explore the area beyond the two bedrooms they share.

The public is being asked to help the Zoo select a name for the young cub through voting at www.bit.ly/NameTheCub. Voting will close on Sunday, May 24.

The cub was born at 8:30 p.m. on March 12, 2015, inside the jaguar den at the Harry & Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey exhibit. This is the third cub for 7-year-old Nindiri.

Photo taken on May 22, 2015, by Tammy Spratt, San Diego Zoo

CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS, 619-685-3291
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Hippo Mother Nudges Curious Calf at the San Diego Zoo

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Devi gets a gentle, loving nudge from her mother, Funani.

Devi, an 8-week-old hippopotamus is nosed to shallower water by her mother Funani Thursday morning at the San Diego Zoo. The female calf has recently been venturing to the farthest reaches and deepest parts of the 150,000-gallon pool.  But everywhere Devi goes, Funani is just a few feet away. Hippo mothers are known for being very protective.  For the first six weeks of Devi’s life, it was very hard for guests – and keepers – to see the calf because Funani often had her tucked into vegetation near the shore, and kept her body between the calf and the public.

This morning, the curious calf could be seen repeatedly popping up to the glass wall of her 150,000 gallon pool take to take a look at all the guests who were fascinated with her. Hippos have a membrane that protects their eyes and allows them to see underwater, which means that Devi can watch the guests watching her.

Devi was born on Monday, March 23 at 6:30 a.m. with animal care staff observing. Funani and Devi share the exhibit with Devi’s father, Otis. Mother and daughter can be seen on exhibit Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

The hippopotamus is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, known as the IUCN. The primary threats to hippos are illegal and unregulated hunting for meat and ivory (found in the canine teeth) and habitat loss. Hippos can still be found in a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes on-site wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The work of these entities is made accessible to children through the San Diego Zoo Kids network reaching out through the Internet and in children’s hospitals nationwide. The work of San Diego Zoo Global is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

Photo taken on May 21, 2015, by Tammy Spratt, San Diego Zoo.

CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS, 619-685-3291

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Masai Giraffe Calf Deemed Healthy and Strong after First Medical Exam at San Diego Zoo

Here's looking at you, kid!

Here’s looking at you, kid!

A one-day-old female Masai giraffe at the San Diego Zoo had her first medical exam earlier today. Veterinarians and animal care staff covered the newborn’s eyes with a soft towel to keep her calm while they confirmed her sex, checked her eyes, ears, tongue and throat, drew blood to ensure she is nursing properly, and checked her umbilicus for proper healing. Initial results determined the calf is healthy and strong, even though she is still getting used to her long, wobbly legs. The lanky youngster weighed in at 136 pounds and stands 6 feet tall; she may weigh as much as 500 pounds and stand 7 to 7 ½ feet tall by the time she is 6 months old.

After the exam, the youngster ventured around the maternity yard with her doting mother, Bahati. The curious calf interacted with her father, Silver, and other members of the Zoo’s giraffe herd from the protective fencing set up by keepers to separate the newborn and her mother from the herd until the calf is strong enough to venture into the larger habitat and interact with the others.

Bahati gave birth to the calf in the afternoon of May 19 after a three-hour labor under the watchful eyes of her keepers and to the amazement of Zoo guests. The experienced mother immediately began bonding with her calf, and Bahati helped the calf stand just minutes after her introduction to the world.

Masai giraffes, also known as Kilimanjaro giraffes, are the world’s tallest land animals and are native to Kenya and Tanzania. Masai giraffes are the most populous of the giraffe subspecies, but all giraffe populations have decreased from approximately 140,000 in the late 1990s to less than 80,000 today because of habitat loss and competition with livestock for resources. As a result, the future of giraffes is dependent on the quality of habitat that remains. San Diego Zoo Global supports community conservation efforts in Kenya and Uganda that are finding ways for people and wildlife to live together.

This is the 11th calf born to Bahati. Visitors to the San Diego Zoo can see the giraffe calf, yet to be named, on exhibit in the Urban Jungle.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The work of these entities is inspiring children through the San Diego Zoo Kids network, reaching out through the Internet and in children’s hospitals nationwide. The work of San Diego Zoo Global is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

Photo taken on May 20, 2015 by Tammy Spratt, San Diego Zoo.

CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS, 619-685-3291