Fifth Masai Giraffe Born at Nashville Zoo
Nashville Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a male Masai giraffe. The calf was born February 10, weighing 163 lbs. and standing 6 feet, 3 inches tall. Mother, Margarita and calf are doing well and are currently off exhibit in the Zoo’s giraffe barn. This is Margarita’s fifth calf and second male to be born at the Zoo.
“Margarita is a proven and successful mom for her calves, and this calf was no exception,” said Greg Peccie, Director of Animal Operations. “Once the calf was on the ground, she placed her legs around him to help support him in his attempts to stand. The calf was standing with mom about an hour after he was born and proceeded to nurse almost instantly.”
The Zoo’s giraffe keepers have chosen the name Mazi (pronounced MAH-zee) for the newest addition. Mazi, which is short for Mazingira Magumu, is Swahili meaning “vulnerable,” a conservation term recently given to giraffes by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
With the addition of the calf, Nashville Zoo is home to four Masai giraffes. Keeper staff will carefully monitor Mazi's development and make a decision on his public debut depending on weather and temperature.
Masai giraffes (Giraffa tippelskirchi) are a species of giraffe known for their vine-leaf shaped spot pattern. They are native to the savannas of Kenya and Tanzania in Africa. The wild population has seen a 40% decline since 1985 due to habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and illegal hunting. Nashville Zoo is a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Giraffe Species Survival Plan that contributes to the genetic preservation of the species across the nation.
Nashville Zoo’s 1.5 acre Giraffe Savannah opened in April 2006 thanks to hundreds of supporters who contributed to the Zoo’s “Stick Your Neck Out” campaign.
About Nashville Zoo
Nashville Zoo is a nonprofit organization and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. The Zoo is actively engaged in conservation research, habitat protection, breeding programs and education initiatives around the globe as well as in our own backyard. Celebrating 20 years at Grassmere, the Zoo attracts more than 890,000 visitors annually and is considered one of the top attractions in Nashville. Nashville Zoo is located at 3777 Nolensville Pike and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information about Nashville Zoo, visit nashvillezoo.org.