Oregon Zoo welcomes two-year-old Masai giraffe

May 19 2020, 11:45 am

It’s an exciting time for conservationists and zoologists in Portland, as the Oregon Zoo welcomes a new member of their family: Kiden, a two-year-old Masai giraffe.

Standing at 11-feet tall, Kiden comes to the Oregon Zoo from the Carolina’s Greenville Zoo and joins fellow giraffes Buttercup and Desi at the Portland facilities.

“Giraffes are herd animals, so it’s wonderful to welcome a new member of the family,” said Becca Van Beek, who oversees the zoo’s Africa area. “Yesterday was her first day out with the boys, and she and Buttercup have been spending a lot of time together.”

“Young giraffes like Kiden are naturally curious and playful, and it’s been a lot of fun to see her interacting with the other animals,” Van Beek said.

Masai giraffes are the largest subspecies of giraffes and are the tallest mammals on Earth. Fewer than 33,000 Masai giraffes are known to conservationists, making them an endangered animal.

“Every Masai giraffe we care for is critical to keeping this subspecies alive,” said Oregon Zoo Deputy Director Sheri Horizsny, who serves as the AZA’s SSP coordinator for giraffes. “Our hope is that one day Kiden and Buttercup will start a family of their own.”

After two weeks of acclimatization to the Pacific Northwest, Kiden is finally able to live in her new habitat.

The Oregon Zoo remains closed due to the pandemic, so giraffe fans will have to wait a little longer to greet the new towering member of the community.