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Press Releases

Visit the NEW Masai Giraffe Exhibit at the Toronto Zoo


NOW OPEN!

How do you move giraffes?


Click on the above photo and find out!

Friday, July 4, 2014, Toronto Ontario:

Come see the tallest land mammals on earth in their new home! After much anticipation the Toronto Zoo is happy to announce the opening of the new Masai Giraffe Exhibit. This exhibit, which is over 4,370 square metres, will be the home to the Zoo’s 23 year-old Masai giraffe ‘Twiga’ and her calf ‘Mstari’ who was born on October 17, 2013.

 

The new Masai Giraffe Exhibit features an innovative design that includes three paddocks, and an observation deck, with an elevated viewing platform. A wonderful indoor experience for public viewing of the giraffes will be completed for Fall 2014, this viewing area will be available if they are inside due to colder temperatures or inclement weather. Although the exhibit will initially be home to the Zoo’s giraffes, there is room and future plans for various mixed species!

 

Visitors can catch a daily Keeper Talk at 2:00 p.m. and take home a giraffe souvenir from the new Twiga Duka Market Bazaar, The new exhibit consists of a large natural substrate area, as well as a gunite tree to incorporate enrichment opportunities for our giraffes.

 

“We are very excited to have an expanded outdoor and very dynamic indoor habitat for our giraffes", says Maria Franke, Curator of Mammals at the Toronto Zoo. "The savanna that giraffes and other species call home in the wild is at risk of disappearing and we need to do everything we can to save this amazing ecosystem. The future mixed species habitat will showcase how species intermingle in the wild and draw attention to this fragile landscape that we must preserve for future generations.”

Giraffes are listed by the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN) as least concern/conservation dependent however, recent population estimates suggest a large decline in wild numbers due to habitat destruction and poaching which will likely warrant a higher classification. The Toronto Zoo is part of the Masai Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP) and the birth of Mstari is very important to the North American captive population.

Fun facts about the Masai giraffe:

  • Largest subspecies of giraffe, and the tallest land mammal on Earth
  • Males can grow up to 5.5 m tall, females can reach 4.3 m tall
  • Giraffes will sleep only about 20 minutes a day
  • A giraffe may eat 34 kg of food per day
  • Their 46 cm tongue and long neck allows them to reach up high and eat their favourite thorny acacia tree
  • Life span is approximately 25 years in the wild and longer in captivity

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For media who wish to come out and experience the new Masai Giraffe Exhibit please arrive at the Zoo's Front Entrance for 1:30 pm (on Friday, 2014-07-04) to attend the

2:00 pm Giraffe Keeper Talk.

Please RSVP with Katie Gray, Supervisor of Public Relations and Events, #416-392-5941 or kgray@torontozoo.ca

In 2014 the Toronto Zoo is celebrating 40 Years of saving and protecting animals and their habitats at home and abroad.

More than a tourist attraction, the Toronto Zoo boasts a number of leading programs for helping wildlife and their natural habitats - from species reintroduction to reproductive research. A world-class educational centre for people of all ages, the Toronto Zoo is open every day except December 25 and attracts approximately 1.3 million visitors each year.



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