Potawatomi Zoo welcomes new female giraffe

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Potawatomi Zoo grew by four legs, two ears and one looooong neck with the addition of a new female Masai giraffe!

Zindzhi, derived from the Zulu word for “warrior,” joined the zoo on November 2, the first female added to the existing troupe of four male giraffes.

The six-year-old joined the zoo per the suggestion of the Masai Giraffe Species Survival Plan. Masai giraffes are considered endangered in the wild, with an estimated 35,000 still around and the population decreasing, according to the IUCN.

Zindzhi will be paired with the zoo’s youngest male giraffe, Kellan, to hopefully produce a calf.

Zindzhi debuted during the first weekend of the zoo’s Gift of Lights event. Viisitors can see all five giraffes at the Laidig Giraffe Conservation Center through the winter.

Native to southern Kenya and Tanzania, Masai giraffes are the largest of the giraffe species.

At birth, the calves are around six feet tall and weigh 110 to 150 pounds. The gestation period for adults is 14 to 15 months.

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