Join us in one of the largest indoor giraffe houses in Canada to view the tallest land mammal year-round! The habitat is 173 square metres and the giraffes can be viewed inside where visitors will get a unique opportunity to get up close to this magnificent species. The giraffe house is currently home to the Zoo's Masai giraffe calf 'Mstari' and to 'Kiko', the newest addition to our giraffe family.
There are nine subspecies of giraffes with two recently listed as endangered and the others listed as least concern/conservation dependent by the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN). However, with the overall 40% decline observed in the wild giraffe population over the past 15 years due to habitat destruction and poaching, risk of higher classifications is imminent.
The indoor viewing house has a beautiful African Savanna landscape mural with several features that help the keepers care for the giraffes. This includes different feeding stations which allow keepers numerous feeding enrichment opportunities for the tallest land mammal on earth, a fallen log enrichment device that encourages the giraffes to use their long, dark tongue to manipulate and pull out food items, and hidden raised waterers.
In addition, the indoor house includes a variety of graphics and an interpretive area to provide visitors with educational and interactive information about this incredible species. A life size custom illustration of a giraffe head and neck greets you in the front entrance vestibule, which includes life-like giraffe vertebrae visitors can touch and feel. Members of the public will also be exposed to wall-sized interactive illustrations of all nine giraffe subspecies, where they can compare their patterns and where they live in Africa.
The Toronto Zoo's outdoor Masai Giraffe Habitat opened to the public in July 2014 which includes three outdoor exhibits and a yard covering over 4,370 square metres. Although the exhibit will initially be home to the Zoo’s giraffes, there are future plans to add other species that inhabit the African grassland savanna, one of the most delicate natural ecosystems on this planet.