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Detroit Zoo welcomes a tall resident

The Detroit News

A 2-year-old female giraffe is the newest resident of the Detroit Zoo's African Grasslands habitat.

Zara arrived from the Peoria, Illinois, zoo to join Mpenzi, Kivuli and Jabari.

“We’re happy to welcome Zara to the herd,” said Scott Carter, chief life sciences officer for the Detroit Zoological Society. “She has a very calm demeanor and seems eager to learn new things.”

Zara comes to the Detroit Zoo on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Species Survival Program. SSPs are cooperative management plans that ensure the sustainability of healthy, genetically diverse and demographically varied captive animal populations.

Following normal procedure, Zara was quarantined for several weeks before she was introduced to the giraffe family at her new home.

“There is serious conservation concern with wild giraffe populations due to poaching, loss of habitat, and the effects of war and civil unrest across Africa. We believe the giraffes at the Detroit Zoo are strong ambassadors for their cousins in the wild,” said Carter.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature declared giraffes in danger of extinction in 2016. Giraffe numbers have decreased in the wild by more than 40% in recent decades.