DE
02.07.15

Welcome back to Hellabrunn, Limber the giraffe!

After three years at Erfurt Zoopark, the four-year-old reticulated giraffe Limber is back at Hellabrunn Zoo, where she was born.

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn

There are now three reticulated giraffes at Hellabrunn Zoo once again: Limber, born on 5 April 2011, made the journey from the Thuringian capital of Erfurt to the Bavarian capital Munich in a special transporter on Tuesday, 30 June. The journey went without a hitch and Limber entered the stall of her new home without hesitation.

Limber lived at Erfurt Zoopark from 31 July 2012 to 30 June 2015. However, recently due to limited space a decision was taken to find a new home for the giraffe. As luck would have it, Limber was able to return to Hellabrunn, the zoo where she was born. Visitors to the Munich zoo will be able to see Limber from Friday, 3 July. Before then, she will remain behind the scenes for a few days in order to become accustomed to her new companions Bahati and Naledi as well as the stalls in the African Giraffe Savannah opened in 2013, which she is not yet familiar with. The three giraffes are already sniffing each other curiously - separated by a grid - as a way of becoming acquainted.

Hellabrunn Zoo has revised its approach to giraffe keeping: The zoo has decided it will now only have an exclusively female reticulated giraffe group. As part of this new policy, the zoo will have the capacity to accommodate up to eight female giraffes in the African Giraffe Savannah in future. Naledi, the juvenile giraffe bull and brother of Limber, is expected to move to a new home this year under the European Endangered Species Programme EEP for reticulated giraffes. Bahati will remain with Limber in Hellabrunn, with more females to follow.

Mayor and Chairman Christine Strobl: "Hellabrunn has found an excellent solution for a new approach to giraffe keeping. I am particularly delighted that Limber has now returned to Munich, because I can still remember her so well as a young calf. I intend to visit her soon."

Zoo director Rasem Baban explains: "At the moment, there are many giraffes in European zoos. This makes it difficult to find a home for their offspring at another zoo. Because of this, Hellabrunn has decided to switch from keeping a breeding group to keeping an exclusively female group. This has several advantages: We can accommodate up to eight animals. Females get along very well with each other. And with this approach to keeping, Hellabrunn supports the European Endangered Species Programme by offering space for female giraffes from other zoos."

Giraffes currently living at Hellabrunn Zoo:

Bahati
Born 26.08.2011 in Frankfurt Zoo
At Hellabrunn Zoo since: 2013

Naledi
Born 14.03.2013 in Hellabrunn Zoo
Mother: Kabonga; Father: Togo

Limber
Born 5.04.2011 in Hellabrunn Zoo
Mother: Kabonga; Father: Togo

About the giraffes at Hellabrunn Zoo:
Kabonga, the mother of Naledi and Limber, was euthanized on Friday, 8 May 2015 in order to spare her painful suffering. Kabonga had found it increasing difficult to move due to age-related reasons, which was exacerbated by the birth of a weak calf in December 2014.

Togo, the father of Naledi and Limber, was found dead in his stall on the morning of 19 May 2015. The final pathology report showed that Togo had a malignant, metastasising tumour in the rectum, as well as age-related joint and kidney degeneration that would not have been treatable or operable.