New Masai giraffe at the Sacramento Zoo
There’s a new resident at the Sacramento Zoo, the 2-year old Masai giraffe named Shani.
“She is a pretty special girl,” said zoo spokeswoman Tonja Swank. “There are only about 100 Masai giraffes in American zoos.”
She added that Shani will eventually mate with the zoo’s other Masai giraffe, Chifu.
Shani came to Sacramento from the Los Angeles Zoo in mid-August and recently completed her quarantine period so she can now explore the exhibit, according to the zoo blog.
The blog also notes that the Masai giraffe is the largest subspecies, and it is native to southern Kenya and Tanzania.
Shani is about 11 feet tall, and she is expected to reach between 16 and 19 feet in height when she is full grown. Her name comes from the Swahili word for “wondrous,” and zookeepers say she is getting along well with the other giraffes.
“Eventually Shani and Chifu will become the nucleus of a Masai Giraffe herd,” said Harrison Edell, the zoo’s general curator. “As part of the Masai Giraffe Species Survival Plan, the creation of this new herd will support genetic diversity in the North American Masai Giraffe population.”
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