Servus and welcome to Munich, Makena!
On Wednesday, 28 September 2016, the Giraffe Savannah at Hellabrunn Zoo received a new resident: Makena, the female reticulated giraffe, arrived from Duisburg Zoo to Munich.
Within just a few hours of her arrival at Hellabrunn, Makena began to explore her new home with great curiosity. The one-and-a-half-year-old newcomer will live with the existing Hellabrunn giraffes Taziyah, Limber and Bahati in the zoo's Giraffe Savannah in Munich. For her first few days at Hellabrunn she will be kept inside the Giraffe House. "We would like to give Makena as much time as she needs for acclimatisation and to get to know the other three giraffes," says zoo director Rasem Baban.
Since the zoo's decision to switch to a female only group, Hellabrunn is now able to accommodate young female giraffes, which given the large number of giraffes in European zoos are difficult to find new homes for. "The same-sex group corresponds to giraffe behaviour in the wild," says zoo director Rasem Baban. "Our decision to form a same-sex group was taken in collaboration with the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for reticulated giraffes. This measure not only serves as an important contribution to the EEP, but is also useful for the control of births of giraffes living in zoos." Christine Strobl, Mayor and Chairman of Hellabrunn Zoo, is equally pleased with Makena's arrival at the zoo: "We are delighted to be able to support the conservation of the species in this way."
The reticulated giraffe, one of several giraffe species, derives its name from the lines on its coat, which resemble a network of cream coloured lines that run across its dark brown coat. Its natural habitat is mainly grasslands in eastern and southern Africa. Reticulated giraffes feed on leaves, buds and young shoots. They use their long, bluish tongue to strip away their food from branches - at a length of 35 cm this is accomplished with ease.
Since reticulated giraffes prefer to eat at a height of three to four metres, the Giraffe Savannah at Hellabrunn also offers facilities for feeding the animals food such as alfalfa hay at that height. An elevated visitor platform allows visitors to observe Taziyah, Limber, Bahati and the newcomer Makena at eye level.
The following giraffes now live at Hellabrunn Zoo:
Born 5.4.2011 at Hellabrunn, female
Mother: Kabonga, Father: Togo
Born 26.8.2011 at Frankfurt Zoo, female
At Hellabrunn since: 2013
Born 12.6.2013 in Brno Zoo/Czech Republic, female
At Hellabrunn since: 4 September 2015
Born 11.2.2015 in Duisburg Zoo, female
At Hellabrunn since: 28 September 2016