Nashville Zoo’s three-month old Masai giraffe can now be seen by the public. Guests can see the young calf, named Mazi, on exhibit from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. in the African Savannah with the Zoo’s giraffe herd which includes Congo, Margarita and Nasha.
“Mazi has been on and off exhibit over the last few weeks in order to give him a smooth transition to his outdoor area as well as be introduced to Nasha and Congo,” said Jenna Wolczyk, Nashville Zoo Hoofstock Keeper. “Mazi has been an energetic calf and was ready to explore his outdoor exhibit. Guests can see him running and kicking about as he joins the rest of the herd in the African Savannah each morning.”
The Zoo’s 12-year old Masai giraffe, Margarita, gave birth to the male calf on Friday, February 10. Now three months old, Mazi weighs 460 lbs. and stands just under 8 feet tall.
The Zoo’s giraffe keepers chose the name Mazi (pronounced MAH-zee), which is short for Mazingira Magumu. The name is Swahili meaning “vulnerable,” a conservation term recently given to giraffes by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Nashville Zoo’s 1.5 acre Giraffe Savannah opened in April 2006 thanks to hundreds of supporters who contributed to the Zoo’s “Stick Your Neck Out” campaign.
Through recent conservation work in Africa involving genetics and population assessments, it has recently been determined the threats to the wild population of giraffe are more severe than what was initially realized. African giraffe populations as a whole include approximately 60,000 animals; however, recent studies have discovered isolated populations and even different species of giraffes whose numbers range as low as a few hundred to a few thousand. In an effort to support the work going on to help the plight of giraffe, Nashville Zoo donated $10,000 to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in 2016.
If you would like to join in the effort to save these magnificent animals for future generations, you can make a donation in Mazi’s name to Nashville Zoo, and all proceeds will go towards giraffe conservation efforts. Donations can be made on the Zoo’s website: https://www.nashvillezoo.org/conservation