Oakland Zoo welcomes baby male giraffe


The zoo is asking the public to participate in naming its latest addition

The male giraffe brings the population of giraffes at the Oakland Zoo from 5 to 6 (Image courtesy of the Oakland Zoo)

The male giraffe brings the population of giraffes at the Oakland Zoo from 5 to 6 (Image courtesy of the Oakland Zoo)

After traveling from Audubon Nature Institute in Louisiana, a new male giraffe is now calling the Oakland Zoo in California his new home. The baby giraffe was transported to the zoo in a specially designed carrier for giraffes that accommodated the 10-foot-tall giraffe the room to move.

According to an organizational release,1 the giraffe was brought to the Oakland Zoo based on a recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which helps ensure sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied AZA population.

"He is a brave and bold giraffe who's adjusting quite well. We're thrilled to get to know him and watch him develop a bond with his new herd at the Zoo," said Amy Phelps, Oakland Zoo's zoological manager, in the release.1

The Animal Care Team at the zoo is working hard to ensure that it’s behind the scenes area is comfortable for the latest arrival and are keeping his overall wellbeing in mind. The team is achieving this by providing the baby with multiple enrichment options, bedding, and tree browse giving the keepers insights into his likes and dislikes because it gives him the chance to decide how he would like to interact with the new environment.1 The team also shared that he has recently discovered a bamboo wind chime made by the keepers and is enchanted by it.

The team is also working to familiarize him with his herd mates through sound, smell, and sight through a fenceline. Once the Animal and Veterinary Care teams determined that he is ready, he will be moved into the giraffe habitat located in the Zoo’s African Savanna area. Giraffes are social animals and foster relationships with many individuals in their natural habitats, so the addition of another giraffe will help create a more robust social structure within the herd.

In celebration of its newest addition the Zoo is welcoming the public to help name the giraffe. There is polling on its social media pages on May 9, 2024. The public can pick form the following Swahili names:1

  • Enzi (meaning "powerful")
  • Nuru (meaning "the light")
  • Kovu (meaning "scar")

According to the release, it is common for giraffes to live in groups that make up a wide variety of ages, for example the now 6 giraffes at the zoo make up ages from 1 to 12.1 Oakland Zoo welcomed a female giraffe Kendi last year which could create a different kind of dynamic of the herd now that it has welcomed a 13-month-male.


Oakland Zoo reaches new heights with addition of 6th giraffe. News release. Oakland Zoo. May 9, 2024. Accessed May 9, 2024.

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