Gender separation for reticulated giraffes in Munich and Naples

This past weekend, Hellabrunn Zoo's only giraffe bull Naledi was transferred to Zoo di Napoli in the southern Italian city of Naples. Shortly after arriving in his new home to join a young bull group, his big sister Limber celebrated her fifth birthday with the now all-female group at Hellabrunn on Tuesday, 5 April.

Giraffe Naledi (Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn)

Giraffe Limber (Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn)

Female giraffes Bahati, Taziyah and Limber, from left to right (Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn)

On Saturday, 2 April, Naledi, the three-year-old brother of Limber, was transferred to Zoo di Napoli on the recommendation of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for reticulated giraffes. His companion in the newly opened bull enclosure in Naples is Lubango from Vienna. Lubango arrived at Zoo di Napoli last Wednesday. The two reticulated giraffe bulls are approximately the same age and already getting on well with each other. Lubango was born at Vienna Zoo in June 2013; Naledi was born at Hellabrunn Zoo in March 2013. Naledi's journey to Naples in a customised giraffe transport vehicle went smoothly.

As there are many reticulated giraffes in European zoos, the EEP has decided to establish same-sex groups for reticulated giraffes in Naples and Munich. These same-sex groups correspond to the natural behaviour in the wild and also act as a simple and useful measure of birth control for animals living in zoos.

"There are now three young reticulated giraffes living in our all-female group at Hellabrunn Zoo: Taziyah, Limber and Bahati. The Giraffe Savannah can actually accommodate eight females," says zoo director Rasem Baban. "The switch to an all-female group represents an important contribution to the European Endangered Species Programme: Hellabrunn now has the facilities to accept young female giraffes who have difficulty finding a new home, particularly as there are currently so many giraffes in European zoos."

About the giraffes living at Hellabrunn Zoo:

Born 5.4.2011 at Hellabrunn Zoo, female
Mother: Kabonga; Father: Togo

Born 26.8.2011 at Frankfurt Zoo, female
At Hellabrunn Zoo since: 2013

Born 12.6.2013 at Brno Zoo in the Czech Republic, female
At Hellabrunn Zoo since: 4 September 2015