Congratulations to Nashville Zoo on its newest arrival — a baby male Masai giraffe. The calf made its debut on Friday, Feb. 10, weight 163 pounds and standing six feet, three inches tall.
Zoo officials report mother Margarita and the baby are doing well. They are currently off exhibit in the zoo's giraffe barn. This new little one is Margarita's fifth calf and the second male giraffe born at Nashville Zoo.
"Margarita is a proven and successful mom for her calves, and this calf was no exception," says Greg Peccie, director of animal operations. "Once the calf was on the ground, she places her legs around him to help support him in his attempts to stand. The calf was standing with mom about an hour after he was born and proceeded to nurse almost instantly," he adds.
The baby giraffe's name is Mazi (pronounced MAH-zee), which is short for Mazingira Maguma, Swahili for "vulnerable."
With the addition of Mazi, Nashville Zoo is home to four Masai giraffes. Zookeepers are monitoring Mazi's development and will decide on his public debut depending on weather and temperature.
ABOUT THE MASAI GIRAFFE
Masai giraffes are a giraffe species known for their vine-leaf shaped spot pattern. They are native to the savannas of Kenya nd Tanzania in Africa. Teh wild population has seen a 40 percetn decline since 1985 due to habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and illegal hunting.
Nashville Zoo is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Giraffe Species Survival Plan that contributes to the genetic preservation of the species across the nation.
Nashville Zoo is located at 3777 Nolensville Road, Nashville. Hours are 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily. Tickets are $16 adults, $11 ages 2 - 12. Call 615-833-1534 or visit nashvillezoo.org
photo credit: Aimee Stubbs