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The Honolulu Zoo welcomes two endangered baby giraffes

Neelix and Sandi at the Honolulu Zoo.

HONOLULU – The Honolulu Zoo is happy to announce they received two new Reticulated Giraffes from the Albuquerque Biological Park on Thursday, May 21. Neelix (male) was born on January 6, 2019 and is 1 year and 4 months old. Sandi (female) was born on July 5, 2019 and is about 10 months old. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has the Reticulated Giraffe listed as “endangered,” on the IUCN Red List.

“The Honolulu Zoo is very excited to welcome these two giraffes,” said Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos. “Animals of that size are difficult, logistically, and not always available. We’re very fortunate and thankful that the Albuquerque Zoo donated these animals to add to our zoo ʻohana. We’re also thankful for Pacific Air Cargo, Island Topsoil and the Honolulu Zoo Society for their generous financial support in transporting these great animals. We would also like to thank the Honolulu Police Department and the state Department of Transportation Airports and Highways division for their help in coordinating the logistics and execution of the ground transit.”

As part of the AZA Species Survival Plan, the new giraffes will be on display in the African Savanna after their quarantine period ends.

Giraffes are the tallest mammals in the world, have an average life expectancy of approximately 20 years in the wild and approximately 25 years in captivity. Squirt, the zoo’s current resident giraffe, is 20 years old. Giraffes are herd animals, and inclusion of Neelix and Sandi brings the total count of giraffes at the Honolulu Zoo to 3. Despite their appearance, giraffes and humans share the same number of cervical vertebrae in their necks: 7.

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