Kimya, Adelaide Zoo’s sole giraffe has a brand new room-mate – eight-month-old hand-raised female Nolean.
Earlier today, keepers from Monarto Safari Park undertook the delicate operation of transporting Nolean to Adelaide Zoo.
Both Adelaide Zoo giraffes are now off display until later in the week to help Nolean settle into her new home and to give them the time and space to get to know each other.
Speaking about the transfer, Dr Phil Ainsley, Director of Life Sciences said: “We are so excited to have Nolean with us here at Adelaide Zoo.
“At just eight-months-old, she is very small compared to 15-year-old Kimya. We are sure visitors will adore her; she’s very used to people.
“Thanks to weeks of successful preparatory training, the transfer process went really well and Nolean was very calm throughout.
“We must now give her and Kimya quiet time to get to know each other and for her to get used to her new surroundings.
“Visitors will see Kimya either in the giraffe house or in the newly-expanded yard but Nolean will be out of sight until she is more confident in her new surroundings.
“It’s very important that we give Nolean all the space that she needs. Her welfare is our prime concern,” finished Phil.
Keepers from Adelaide Zoo have been working with Nolean and keepers at Monarto Safari Park to build up a bond prior to her arrival.
Sadly, giraffes in the wild are facing a challenging fight, with habitat loss, poaching and civil unrest seeing giraffe numbers plummet across their natural range.
Kimya, and now Nolean, act as powerful ambassadors for their wild cousins at Adelaide Zoo, helping to educate visitors about wild giraffes’ plight.
Adelaide Zoo reopened on Monday with nearly 900 of its approved maximum 1000 tickets sold.
Since its reopening, tickets have been selling fast with both days of this weekend completely sold out already. The zoo is hopeful that they will receive advice soon from Government about when they will be able to increase their current cap.
To help manage visitor numbers and avoid long queues at the gate, visitors are asked to book their tickets online in advance at www.adelaidezoo.com.au/tickets.
With little Nolean in the mix, ticket sales for the school holidays are expected to sell fast and members and visitors are recommended to get in quick to avoid disappointment.