Towering beauty Kimya, one of Adelaide Zoo’s two giraffes, celebrated her 16th birthday today with keepers treating her to 16 juicy carrots – one for every year of her life.
“Kimya absolutely loves carrots so this is the best birthday treat for her,” said keeper Georgie Allan.
“Our giraffes eat a range of browse throughout the day and have regular enrichment to add excitement, carrots are a part of this,” said Georgie.
Kimya lives at Adelaide Zoo along with nine-month-old Nolean. Since Nolean’s arrival in June, the pair have formed a strong bond despite their difference in size.
“Nolean is very confident and doesn’t mind getting up close to Kimya, including walking under her neck. Every now and then Kimya reminds her who is in charge but most of the time they are harmonious.
‘While the pair have been seen sitting together – a sign of being relaxed – they are also happy to spend time apart doing their own thing,” finished Georgie.
As a vulnerable species, the giraffe population in the wild continues to decline. However, the good news for Kimya’s wild cousins is that research and conservation efforts have greatly increased over the last five years giving us more insight into how we can help this lofty and graceful species.
Zoos SA works with a number of international conservation programs including the Giraffe Conservation Foundation which supports habitat protection and uses solar powered GPS satellite units to track endangered reticulated giraffes in northern Kenya.
Adelaide Zoo recently extended the giraffe enclosure so that it is now double its original size. Future plans will see the giraffe habitat expand further to become the largest giraffe exhibit in a metropolitan zoo with a total space of over 5000m².
Adelaide Zoo is currently operating at a reduced capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions. Members and visitors are asked to book tickets online at www.adelaidezoo.com.au/tickets