Keepers at Adelaide Zoo have stuck their necks out for giraffe calf Matumi on his first birthday.
Matumi and fellow giraffe Kimya (19) and Nolean (4) received an enrichment ice cake made by keeper Elise Maurer, Senior Keeper of Ungulates at Adelaide Zoo. The refreshing cake contained mashed carrots and was topped with tasty greens.
“You could never describe giraffe calf Matumi as little (he was over 190cm when he was born). He is a very special giraffe who deserves a treat on his big day,” said Elise.
“He came to Adelaide Zoo in January last year after he and his mum failed to bond at sister site Monarto Safari Park.
“Matumi had round-the-clock care from both sites including regular milk feeds. He’s now a healthy and strapping one-year-old and very much part of Adelaide Zoo’s Tower.
“Matumi is an independent little guy and will happily venture off by himself in search of his favourite food. But you will often find him in the shadow of either Kimya or Nolean when they are resting or ruminating. His fluffy little ossicones appeal to everyone, keepers and the public alike, and its fun to watch as he learns to use that extra long tongue to grab on to browse and navigate enrichment,” continued Elise.
While Matumi, Kimya and Nolean strike a head turning threesome, another head turner is the fact that wild giraffe are suffering a ‘silent extinction’.
As a conservation charity, Zoos SA partners with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) which monitors the giraffe population in Africa. The GCF recently undertook the largest GPS satellite tracking study ever conducted on giraffe following 500 giraffe across all four species in 17 African countries. Findings will be used to protect the wild giraffe population and hopefully slow their decline.
“We want our visitors to not only enjoy seeing Matumi but to understand how we can help giraffe in the wild. Matumi is a wonderful advocate for his species so let’s hope his first birthday brings about positive engagement and action,” finished Elise.
This summer, in addition to the 500 species on site, visitors to Adelaide Zoo can enjoy the Voyage digital installation from the National Museum of Singapore’s William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings, learn about the different plants around the zoo, and enter a photography competition to win Zoos SA vouchers and a hamper.
For more information go to www.adelaidezoo.com.au