Azizi celebrates his first birthday

Celebrations certainly hit the spot today as Adelaide Zoo hosted male giraffe Azizi’s first birthday.

A special keeper talk at the Giraffe Exhibit was followed a rendition of Happy Birthday sung by the crowd with the birthday boy zooming around his exhibit in excitement!

Azizi then received tasty birthday balloon-inspired enrichment filled with carrots, lucerne, celery and giraffe pellets.

The giraffe’s meerkat mates also joined in the party receiving a large caterpillar covered in mealworms from the keepers.

Zoo visitors were encouraged to wear their best giraffe-inspired outfits to celebrate with Azizi and were treated to giraffe-patterned coffees at the zoo’s cafés.

Azizi, Swahili for beloved, precious one, treasure and valuable, arrived at Adelaide Zoo when he was just a few days old.

He was born Monarto Safari Park to first-time mum Scarlett and dad Mzuri on 16 January, 2021, but keepers soon noticed he was not getting sufficient feeds or the vital nutrients he needed.

Monarto Safari Park and Adelaide Zoo discussed the best welfare outcome for the young giraffe calf, based on their previous experience of hand raising giraffes Eyelean and Nolean.

Keeper, Jemma Cleere, said the decision was made to move Azizi to Adelaide Zoo and since then he has thrived with his companions, 2-year-old half-sister Nolean and 17-year-old Kimya.

“I was trained a couple of weeks after Azizi first arrived at Adelaide Zoo, so we have grown up together!” she said.

“Azizi is a goofball and he is obsessed with Nolean, he loves her so much. He has been by her side since he arrived.

“Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with us today! Azizi had a beautiful time and was very spoilt with lots of snacks and love from all the visitors and keepers here at Adelaide Zoo.”

To mark Azizi’s big milestone, the zoo is also running a giraffe-themed online quiz with the winner to receive a video message from the birthday boy himself!

The message will launch Giraffe Cameos at Adelaide Zoo, which already has a line-up of Cameo stars including the meerkat mob, groovy goat gang, Aonika the Aldabra Tortoise, and Koalas, Sophie and Louise.

Azizi fans can also get creative with a colouring-in sheet designed by one of the Adelaide Zoo keepers, Eli.

In the wild, Giraffes form nomadic herds that wander the African plains, feeding on vegetation as they go. They’re predominantly browsing animals, which means they tend to eat leaves and bark off trees as the main part of their diet.

This feeding pattern has allowed them to develop two very famous evolutionary traits – a very long neck and a very long, prehensile tongue that can extend up to 45cm!

As a conservation charity, Zoos SA is a long term supporter of giraffe conservation in the wild through the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF). The GCF is committed to a sustainable future for all giraffe populations and our support has helped to purchase GPS satellite tracking units that provide a better understanding of wild giraffes’ spatial movements and habitat use.

The giraffe is classified by the IUCN as being vulnerable to extinction. The population is in decline with only around 68,000 giraffes left in the wild.

For more information about Adelaide Zoo, our conservation work and the gorgeous giraffes, please visit


The day is here!Monarto Safari Park’s new Visitor Centre is open to the public from 9.30am. #thewildiscalling

About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

Zoos SA acknowledges the Country on which we stand always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land and we pay our deepest respect and gratitude to Kaurna (Adelaide Zoo) and Ngarrindjeri (Monarto Safari Park) Elders, past, present and emerging.

We undertake critical conservation work throughout Australia and acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands.


Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Stay up to date with zoo news and sign up to our Zoo Times eNewsletter