This World Giraffe Day, we are excited to announce the names of our newest calves – introducing Bwanji and Mtoto!
These two adorable calves – born within weeks of each other to mums Myeisha and Kinky – mark an important contribution to the breeding program working to save giraffe from extinction.
After a public voting competition, Myeisha’s boy has been been named Bwanji, meaning “hello” in Zambian and Kinky’s girl has been named Mtoto, which is Swahili for “child”.
The special duo are the 45th and 46th calves to be born at Monarto Zoo, making us the most successful breeding facility in the region.
Monarto Zoo Keeper Matt Brewer said it was exciting to celebrate the special day with the naming announcement of the two young calves.
“Bwanji and Mtoto are doing really well in the herd and it’s pretty special for visitors to be able to see giraffes in so many different ages and sizes here,” Matt said.
“Giraffes are a very iconic and well-loved species, but sadly they are facing a bit of trouble in the wild.
“Our herd, including the newest calves, are playing an important role as ambassadors for the species.
“We really encourage people to come out to Monarto Zoo to welcome the youngsters and celebrate World Giraffe Day with us today and over the weekend.”
Habitat loss, poaching and civil unrest has seen giraffe numbers plummet from around 155,000 in 1985 to just about 70,000 today.
As a conservation charity, Zoos South Australia is committed to continuing our successful breeding program to ensure these gentle creatures remain for generations to come.
Zoos SA is proud to partner with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation to raise funds for Twiga Tracker, the largest giraffe GPS satellite tracking programme ever in Africa to learn more about giraffes’ spatial movements and habitat use in the wild.
This project has local groups in Uganda working to save the Nubian Giraffe, a unique subspecies that is vital to maintaining genetic diversity within the world’s giraffe population.
Visitors are able to see the two youngest calves from the Waterhole viewing platform or Zu-loop bus.
For more information or to donate to World Giraffe Day, click here.