The Animal Facts Editorial Team
March 2, 2023 10:40 pm
London Zoo, London, The United Kingdom
ZSL London Zoo have welcomed seven year old reticulated giraffe Nuru following a journey across the capital between ZSL’s two conservation zoos. Her move is part of the breeding program for this threatened species.
Nuru took her 40 minute journey across the city in her stride. Her one of a kind limousine for this journey was a transporter with a retractable roof allowing her to trot on board when she felt comfortable and then rest on a bed of straw ready for the ride.
London Zoo giraffe keeper Gemma Metcalf said: “Nuru was born at ZSL’s Whipsnade Zoo in 2016, and now that she’s fully grown it’s almost time for her to join her forever herd, elsewhere in Europe. But while those careful plans are being decided by the coordinator of the European breeding programme for reticulated giraffes, she’ll be enjoying an extended break with females Maggie and Molly at London Zoo.”
At London Zoo Nuru has taken up residence in a historic home, the grade-II-listed giraffe house. Opened in 1836 it is one of the oldest zoo building globally to still be used for its original purpose. In 2021 the paddock around the house received an upgrade including a new sandy surface which is ideal for the health of the giraffes hooves.
“Nuru is a real character,” Gemma added. “She’s confident and inquisitive and she’s wasted no time exploring and getting to know Maggie and Molly, as well as the zebras next door.
“Nuru’s move is a really important part of the conservation breeding programme for the species. By leaving Whipsnade now, Nuru’s former herd can hopefully welcome more baby giraffes in the near future, before she herself moves on to have her own calves – all helping to protect the future of this amazing Endangered species.
The reticulated giraffe is now threatened in the wild owing to habitat loss, hunting and human/wildlife conflict. Scientists from ZSL work with local communities in Africa to build, stronger and sustainable relationships with the wildlife which share their homes.
At the end of a 14 month gestation period a giraffe will give birth to a single calf. This takes place standing up and the calf falls to the ground, the force of hitting the ground will cause them to take their first breath.
Image: © ZSL London Zoo
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