Lehigh Valley Zoo recently welcomed the arrival of a new Masai giraffe.
Joshua, a 6-year-old male giraffe from Houston Zoo, will join 6-year-old male giraffe, Tatu, in the Masai giraffe habitat at LV Zoo.
Joshua is currently 16-1/2-feet tall and is still growing. He weighs more than 2,000 pounds. Born July 23, 2015, at Virginia Zoo, Joshua was the fifth calf born to mother, Imara, and father, Billy. Per the recommendation of the Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Joshua joined the Houston Zoo in hopes for him to sire calves. While there, he successfully sired a son, Bobbie, with mother, Kamili, in September of 2019 – making them both first-time parents. Joshua has been remarkably trained by his team at Houston Zoo for behaviors such as blood draws. The LV Zoo team will continue to work with him on his voluntary medical behaviors.
By participating in the SSP, accredited zoos are provided the opportunity to educate guests about Masai giraffe conservation and its importance to the ecosystem. Masai giraffes are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), primarily due to poaching and changes in land use.
LV Zoo expects to announce the opening of giraffe feeding deck in the near future.