Woodland Park Zoo extends free admission to all active, veteran and retired U.S. military personnel on Veterans Day, November 11, 2013

Giraffe exploring spacious exhibit, but no set viewing hours

Seattle, WA, United States, 2013-11-8 — /travelprnews.com/ — On a foggy morning last week, Misawa (pronounced me-saw-wah), Woodland Park Zoo’s male baby giraffe, took his first, long steps onto the African Savanna. Since his birth, the 3 month old has been on view to visitors in an outdoor corral.

Introductions on the savanna will continue but a viewing schedule can’t be set because of the weather shift. “We will continue introducing Misawa to the savanna in short sessions when the days have high temperatures of 50°F or are especially sunny and dry,” said Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo. “But the sessions will become infrequent as the rain pattern emerges.”

Before introducing the baby giraffe to the vast savanna, baby proofing the exhibit was necessary, which is a standard protocol when baby animals at the zoo go on exhibit. “Baby bumpers, giraffe style, were added to the exhibit in the form of deadfall branches laid along steeper slopes. We also closed up any gaps where he could potentially wedge himself,” explained Ramirez. “The baby bumpers and the watchful eyes of his mom Olivia and aunt Tufani are a great safety net as he explores his new surroundings.”

Misawa was born August 6 to 6-year-old Olivia, a first-time mom. The father of the calf is 7-year-old Chioke, who passed away in January from complications associated with his gastrointestinal tract and kidneys.

Misawa currently towers over 7 feet tall but isn’t tall enough yet to reach the tree tops for munching. Ramirez said Misawa spends much of his time browsing on the ground and will continue to nurse for another two to three months.

When not on the savanna, the baby, mom and aunt are in the outdoor corral daily. They may go off view in the barn as they choose. Giraffe fans can check Misawa out on the webcam at www.zoo.org/giraffecam and see more photos on the zoo’s blog.

The population of giraffes has declined by more than 40% over the past 15 years with current estimates of only 80,000 individuals remaining in Africa. Among the nine subspecies of giraffes, the West African and Rothschild’s are endangered, with fewer than 250 and more than 670, respectively, remaining in the wild. Giraffes face a number of threats including poaching, habitat loss for their feeding ranges, and the soaring human population growth.

People can help preserve these towering animals and their wild places by taking action at home in their everyday lives. Discover a variety of steps to take at home and the workplace that positively impact our planet. Visit www.zoo.org to learn what you can do.

Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting international standards for zoos in animal care, conservation and education programs. Woodland Park Zoo is helping to save animals and their habitats in Washington state and in 50 countries around the world. By inspiring people to care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future. For more information, visit www.zoo.org.

Media contact: Gigi Allianic, Caileigh Robertson
206.548.2550 | woodlandparkzoopr@zoo.org