Philadelphia, PA - Philadelphia Zoo is thrilled to welcome a new addition to its family, Bea, a 15-month-old female giraffe, that arrived on November 20th from Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee.
Since her arrival, Bea has been getting adjusted to her new keepers and met her new herd mates 18-year-old, Stella and 11-year-old Abigail. All are settling in well, and keepers are giving Bea her own space overnight which offers some independence and quiet time.
There are a number of intricate plans that go into transporting a giraffe. In the weeks leading up to the move, Philadelphia Zoo staff worked closely with the team at Knoxville Zoo to ensure a safe trip for the youngster. Plans included training Bea to get safely into trailer, creating contingency plans, and finding an experienced professional animal transporter. “I am happy to say the overall transition has been smooth,” says Donna Evernham, Curator of Carnivores & Ungulates. The journey was successful and the new trio are doing great. Bea’s calm demeanor has made bonding with Stella and Abby easy. “We are very excited to have a young giraffe at Philadelphia Zoo,” says Evernham.
Considered the tallest land animals in the world, male giraffes can reach up to 18- feet- tall and weigh close to 3,000 lbs., while a female can grow to 15-feet- tall and weigh around 1,500 lbs. Currently Bea stands at around 8-foot-tall and weighs over 1,000lbs. Listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with scientists estimating there are fewer than 100,000 surviving in the wild, giraffe are affected by poaching and habitat destruction, with populations decreasing more than 40% over the last three decades.
***Please note that on cooler temperature days, typically under 50 degrees, our giraffe herd have access to their outdoor area and can decide on their own to stay inside or go outside.