Santa Barbara Zoo confirms Two Masai giraffes are Pregnant

Santa Barbara Zoo confirms Two Masai giraffes are Pregnant title=
Santa Barbara Zoo confirms Two Masai giraffes are Pregnant
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Source: Santa Barbara Zoo

It’s a baby boom at the Santa Barbara Zoo! The Zoo’s Animal Care and Health team has confirmed that two of its endangered female giraffes are pregnant. Adia is pregnant and due in January 2022, and Audrey is pregnant and will be due in July 2022. The Zoo’s adult male Michael is the sire of both.

This will be the second calf for Adia (age 7), whose first calf Twiga, with Michael, was born in March 2020, just after the Zoo closed due to the pandemic. This will be the seventh calf for Audrey (age 13), who has had four calves with Michael, most recently Amirah, born in March 2018, who is now at the Sacramento Zoo. With the addition of these two calves next year, ten Masai giraffes will have been born at the Zoo since 2013, nine sired by father Michael (age 15). 

“We’re excited to welcome another Masai giraffe to our herd and continue to contribute to the population of this endangered species,” said Dr. Julie Barnes, the Zoo’s Vice President of Animal Care & Health. “This is a great example of the critical work done at the Santa Barbara Zoo with our incredible animal care team.”

The gestation period for a giraffe is about 15 months, and pregnancies are confirmed through hormone analysis of fecal samples. 

Michael is the most genetically important male Masai giraffe in North America, as he is only related to his offspring. He was brought to the Zoo from Canada in December 2011 and has since sired nine calves. Eight of the calves have moved to other accredited zoos as part of a cooperative breeding program among accredited members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Two of Michael’s sons have had offspring, so he is now a grandpa. Audrey arrived at the Santa Barbara Zoo in 2010 from the Los Angeles Zoo, and Adia arrived in 2017 from the Cleveland Zoo. 

The giraffes at the Zoo are among more than 120 Masai giraffes that live at 28 North American zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Support the Herd 

The Zoo needs the community’s help now more than ever! The public can also help the Zoo welcome this long-necked arrival by becoming a Foster Feeder sponsor of the giraffe herd. A donation of $50+ helps with the cost of feeding the growing giraffe family. New giraffe Foster Feeders will receive a digital certificate with a baby photo of the calf, a Masai giraffe fact sheet, and recognition on the Zoo’s Foster Feeder board.  For information or to become a Foster Feeder, click here.

About Masai Giraffes

In 2018, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced Masai giraffes are endangered. There are an estimated 37,000 Masai giraffes in Kenya and Tanzania, but a more thorough census is required. They are at risk due to poaching and habitat loss and degradation. Giraffes are the tallest land mammal, and the Masai is the largest subspecies, growing up to 17 feet tall and weighing 2,700 pounds.

About the Santa Barbara Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. for members and 9:30 a.m. for general admission until 5 p.m. (seasonal extended hours on select days); general admission is $19.95 for adults, $14.95 for children 2-12, and free for children under 2. Parking is $11. The Santa Barbara Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  AZA zoos are dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great visitor experience, and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and is the public’s link to helping animals in their native habitats. Visit www.sbzoo.org.

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a-1630210826 Aug 28, 2021 09:20 PM
Santa Barbara Zoo confirms Two Masai giraffes are Pregnant

Before the anti-zoo comments commence:
I support zoos. I've always been torn about them, though I think animals such as capybaras and seals enjoy it.
But when it comes to endangered animals? They have no where else to go. We're keeping them alive. Not such a bad thing.

Byzantium Aug 28, 2021 10:25 PM
Santa Barbara Zoo confirms Two Masai giraffes are Pregnant

SB Zoo is beautiful and very much part of the accredited international team that protects endangered species. One of the special jewels in this city - loved and cared for by generous donors and volunteers. Pay it a visit and learn more about the entire zoo system in today's preservation of species terms; not yesteryear's caged animals only for gawking. The opening of the new Australian WalkAbout is going to be spectacular, which replaces the large elephant exhibit - no longer these large animals. Support zoos, they are often the only homes some animals have that keep them safe.

Minibeast Aug 30, 2021 11:59 AM
Santa Barbara Zoo confirms Two Masai giraffes are Pregnant

No wild animal deserves to be imprisoned for life. There's no way to rationalize that. These animals all have natural ranges, urges to mate and forage. Zoos are cruel and archaic and will be banned within our lifetime.

Voice of Reason Aug 30, 2021 12:08 PM
Santa Barbara Zoo confirms Two Masai giraffes are Pregnant

I rationalize it like this: How many additional species would be extinct if it wasn't for zoos, their research, and breeding programs? How many fewer environmentalist, biologists, and animal lovers would there be if they didn't visit a zoo growing up and see these magnificent animals in person and become forever inspired? Is keeping large animals with a huge natural range in captivity humane? No. But this blanket "part of it's bad so it all must go attitude" needs to stop!

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