A New Member of the Family for Munich’s Giraffes

Hellabrunn’s new and prettily variegated brown–beige resident is exploring her environment – she’s not in the least bit shy, but rather confident and cheeky. The ‘little newbie’ is capering around the giraffe savannah. Whilst she’s certainly new here, she’s really not that little: Bahati is a female reticulated giraffe and as such is one of the largest land-living mammals. A few days ago she became the fourth member of Munich’s giraffe herd at Hellabrunn Zoo.

The trip from her hometown, Frankfurt, on 10 July went without a hitch. Bahati’s arrival and settling-in period at Hellabrunn went smoothly too and she unhurriedly got to know her new family and home. Bahati is on display to visitors from now on.

Bahati was born at Frankfurt Zoo on 26 August 2011. Her name in Swahili, the language of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, means something like “my happiness is good’ and you can see it in her – Bahati is a relaxed, spritely female giraffe. Despite being just two years old and standing at approx. 2.8 metres she is nearly as tall as our 19-year-old giraffe cow Kabonga.  However Togo, our 22 year-old giraffe bull, remains the undisputed number 1: no female giraffe can top his height of 4.4 metres.

At the moment Kabonga, her four-month-old son Naledi and Bahati are to be found together either in the external enclosure at the giraffe savannah or in the giraffe house. Togo has got to know Bahati through the so-called protected contact fence. As soon as the situation has settled down all four giraffes will be able to get together in the enclosure.

Hellabrunn’s reticulated giraffes have been living in the African giraffe savannah since Whitsun. Stadtsparkasse München bore the 3-million-euro cost for the giraffe house.

“We are delighted that Hellabrunn’s giraffe herd is steadily growing. In Bahati we have got a very pretty animal from Frankfurt Zoo and we hope to breed from her in the near future. Frankfurt’s female giraffe already gets on splendidly with Kabonga and little Naledi,” said zoo director, Dr. Andreas Knieriem.