Oakland Zoo Reaches New Heights with Addition of 6th Giraffe

Oakland Zoo Reaches New Heights with Addition of 6th Giraffe

The Zoo welcomes the public to participate in naming the 13-month-old giraffe, who is settling into his new home.

OAKLAND, Calif., May 10, 2024 A new male giraffe is adapting to his home at Oakland Zoo after traveling from Audubon Nature Institute in Louisiana. He traveled in a specially designed carrier for giraffes, which accommodated his approximately 10-foot height and gave him enough room during his journey. The 13-month-old giraffe was brought to the Zoo upon recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). These plans help ensure the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied AZA population.

The Animal Care team at Oakland Zoo has been working hard to ensure the behind-the-scenes area is comfortable for the new arrival, keeping his overall wellbeing in mind. Providing different options of enrichment, bedding, and tree browse gives the keepers a better understanding of his preferences and allows the giraffe to choose how he would like to interact with his new environment. While exploring his space, he discovered a bamboo wind chime made by his keepers and has since become enamored.

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

"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," says Amy Phelps, Oakland Zoo's Zoological Manager.

While he adjusts to his new home, he will have the opportunity to start getting to know his herd mates through sound, smell, and sight (through a fenceline). When his Animal and Veterinary Care teams determine he is ready, he will move to the giraffe habitat at the Zoo's African Savanna area.

Giraffes are highly social animals and maintain relationships with many individuals in their natural habitats. The addition of another giraffe helps provide a more robust social structure to the giraffe herd at Oakland Zoo, bringing the total number of giraffes to six. It is common for giraffes to live in groups of varied ages—the Zoo has giraffes ages one to 12. Kendi, a female giraffe, was born just last year at the Zoo. Having two giraffes close in age will provide a different dynamic to the herd.

The Zoo's reticulated giraffes serve as ambassadors to their wild counterparts. Reticulated giraffe populations have experienced a 50% decline in the past three and a half decades due to illegal wildlife trade and habitat loss, which has led to their endangered status on the IUCN Red List.

Oakland Zoo supports The Reticulated Giraffe Project, which investigates reticulated giraffes' behavioral ecology and population processes to inform conservation and management efforts. The Zoo supports the project by raising awareness, sending staff to Africa, and fundraising events like Brunch for the Wild Bunch. Visit the Zoo's website to learn more about how Oakland Zoo is Taking Action for giraffes.

Naming Contest Invitation:
The Zoo is welcoming its followers online to help choose the new giraffe male's name. The polling contest is open now on all their social media channels later today. His Animal Care staff have chosen three Swahili names (the language spoken in the reticulated giraffe's native region):

Enzi (meaning powerful) - pronounced En- see
Nuru (meaning the light) - pronounced Noo-roo
Kovu (meaning scar) - pronounced Koh-Voo

To vote on your favorite name, please visit the Zoo's Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. The winning name will be announced on social media on Monday, May 13.


Isabella Linares
Oakland Zoo
[email protected]
Cell: 650 – 776 -9589

Oakland Zoo, home to more than 850 native and exotic animals, is managed by the Conservation Society of California (CSC); a non-profit organization leading an informed and inspired community in Taking Action for Wildlife locally and globally. With over 25 conservation partners and projects worldwide, the CSC is committed to conservation-based education and saving species and their habitats in the wild. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the national organization that sets the highest standards for animal welfare for zoos and aquariums.