Tulsa Zoo Acquires Two Female Giraffes

Tuesday, June 7th 2011, 4:11 pm
By: News On 6


TULSA, Oklahoma -- Following the loss of two female giraffes in 2009 and 2010, the Tulsa Zoo announced Tuesday it has acquired two female giraffes.

This time, a 4-year-old giraffe, "Lexi", will arrive from the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri and 2-year-old, "Pili", will arrive from the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas.

Both females will join the Tulsa Zoo's male giraffe, "Samburu" later this month.

The two giraffes will be transported separately by the Dickerson Park Zoo, which has a trailer specifically designed for giraffe transport.

Tulsa Zoo officials say because the zoos are in such close proximity, the two female giraffes will arrive within days of one another.

The Tulsa Zoo's staff veterinarian, Dr. Kay Backues, will also accompany the transports of both animals.

In late 2009, Amali died during an X-ray procedure at the Tulsa Zoo. She had apparently arrived from an Ohio zoo with an injured neck.

In January 2010, another giraffe, Amira died from hypothermia.

The deaths prompted a review of the zoo by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. In October of 2010, the AZA said the Tulsa Zoo could keep its accreditation under certain conditions.

10/18/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Zoo Keeps Its Accreditation, But With Conditions

Another AZA review is scheduled for later this year.

The Tulsa Zoo says the giraffe barn has also been fully renovated and the new Mary K. Chapman Giraffe Experience has been completed.

In a news release, the zoo says the African themed observation deck will give guests an ‘eye-to-eye' encounter with the giraffes that will eventually include an opportunity for guests to actually feed the giraffes.

Officials say the new giraffes will have a quarantine period that is standard for all new animals. This time allows them to adjust to their new home and exhibit mates.

The Tulsa Zoo hopes that Samburu will eventually breed with the two new females.