Archive: New Giraffe Arrives at Detroit Zoo

November 9, 2020

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

A 2-year-old female giraffe is taking the African Grasslands habitat at the Detroit Zoo to new heights.

Female giraffe Zara arrived from the Peoria, Illinois zoo to join Mpenzi, Kivuli and 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 comes to the Detroit Zoo on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Program (SSP). SSPs are cooperative management plans that ensure the sustainability of healthy, genetically diverse and demographically varied captive animal populations.

As is customary with new arrivals, Zara was in quarantine for several weeks before she was introduced to the giraffe family at the Detroit Zoo.

“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,” said Carter.

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.