comscore Honolulu Zoo welcomes 2 endangered giraffes
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Honolulu Zoo welcomes 2 endangered giraffes

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                                Reticulating giraffes Sandi, left, and Neelix are seen at the Honolulu Zoo.


    Reticulating giraffes Sandi, left, and Neelix are seen at the Honolulu Zoo.

Two reticulated giraffes have safely moved in to their new home at the Honolulu Zoo, the zoo announced today.

Neelix and Sandi arrived Thursday from the Albuquerque Biological Park and will live with resident giraffe, 20-year-old Squirt. The two newcomers bring the total population for the herd to three.

Neelix, a male born on Jan. 6, 2019, is one-year-and-four-months old. Sandi, a female born July 5, 2019, is about 10 months old.

The giraffes, which get their name from the web design on their coats, are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Reticulated giraffes mostly live in Kenya, but small populations can be found in southern regions of Ethiopia and Somalia, according to the Smithsonian Institution.

Giraffes are the world’s tallest mammals and live about 20 years in the wild and 25 years in captivity. Despite their vertical length, giraffes have the same number of cervical vertebrae in their necks — seven — as humans, the zoo said.

“We’re very fortunate and thankful that the Albuquerque Zoo donated these animals to add to our zoo ʻohana,” Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos said in a statement. “We’re also thankful for Pacific Air Cargo, Island Topsoil and the Honolulu Zoo Society for their generous financial support in transporting these great animals.”

Santos said the Honolulu Police Department and the state Department of Transportation assisted in coordinating the logistics of the ground transport for the animals.

The new giraffes will be on display at the zoo’s African Savanna exhibit after their quarantine period ends.

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