If you’ve visited the Indianapolis Zoo more than once, you know that no two Zoo visits are ever the same. Our collection is constantly in flux because our animals are living, breathing beings that grow and change over time.
Baby animals eventually grow to be adults; some of those adults remain here as part of the Zoo family and some move on to other zoos. That was the case recently with Jasiri, a male reticulated giraffe who was born at the Zoo on April 4, 2011. Jasiri is the fifth calf — all boys — for mother, Takasa. Read more about Jasiri on the Indianapolis Zoo babies archive.
Although in human years, an 18-month-old is still a baby, young Jasiri is already beginning to show signs of maturity, said David Hagan, Curator of Plains at the Indianapolis Zoo. Since Jasiri is related to the Zoo’s three female giraffes, keepers began working to find him a new home where he could breed. They found that home in Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Ariz.
Jasiri began his long journey from Indianapolis to Tucson in the early morning hours of Oct. 8, 2012, and he arrived safely in Arizona later that week, said Karen Toca, a zookeeper at Reid Park Zoo. (That's him, at left, peeking out of the truck after arriving at Reid Park). Jasiri will go through a routine quarantine there before joining the zoo’s herd of three other giraffes — all female.
Reid Park Zoo was founded in 1965 and, through the years, nine giraffe calves have been born there. Reid Park is hoping to continue its successful breeding program, which is part of the Species Survival Plan© program, and Toca said the keepers are excited to have Jasiri. So are the other giraffes!
Two of Reid Park’s three giraffes are older females who, Toca said, find Jasiri “rather amusing.” (That's Jasiri in the background, at right, with one of his new friends). The third, a young giraffe named Elinor, sleeps in the stall adjacent to Jasiri and is already showing interest in the newcomer, although they’ve only met through mesh.
“Elinor is just smitten with him and she loves to see him,” said Toca. “She wants to go outside, but at the end of the day, Elinor comes in and runs right inside to see him.”
Sounds like a love match! Although everyone at the Indianapolis Zoo will miss having Jasiri, we’re happy that he’s found such a great new home.