Today we are elated to be able to officially announce the arrival of our newest African Rift Resident – Kijana the Reticulated Giraffe. Born in May 2017 at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek Michigan, Kijana spent her first 3 years of life there before her official move here to Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden in November of 2020.
Kijana happily shares her habitat with Clementine (3) who is only a few months younger, and our two zebras. Shortly after the passing of Kiah (29), the MPZ&BG team quickly sprung into action to ensure that young Clementine wasn’t alone. As a herd animal, giraffes are social and seek other giraffes for companionship. With the help of our partners at Binder Park Zoo, Kijana now calls Mesker Park Zoo home.
Kijana and Clementine are sure to wow visitors and members with their exotic appearance and quirky personalities as they romp, play, and live happily together here at the Zoo! You can expect to see both Kijana and Clementine on exhibit in the African Rift near the Discovery Center with increased frequency as the weather begins to warm. They enjoy their heated barn on days it is cloudy or too cool to go outside.
The AZA (The Association of Zoos and Aquariums) is actively working to improve conservation efforts for the species in the wild. Currently, giraffes are facing a “silent extinction” with their numbers plummeting with little to no notice by the general public. The primary threats to their population include but are not limited to, habitat loss due to deforestation, civil unrest and military operations, illegal hunting and poaching, and ecological changes due to excessive mining activity and climate-induced processes.
Giraffe populations in Africa continue to decline. In the last 15 years populations have dropped by nearly 33%. For information on how you can benefit organizations like the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and wild Giraffe populations, visit www.giraffeconservation.org.
About Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden
Situated on 45-scenic acres of rolling hills in Evansville, Indiana, directly south of Hwy 66, Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden is home to hundreds of animals from around the globe. Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden has over 186,000 visitors annually, and according to Trip Advisor the Zoo is ranked among the top ten attractions in Evansville, Indiana. Throughout the Zoo, thousands of exotic and regional botanic species adorn hillsides and animal habitats.
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is open 365 days a year from 9 am – 5 pm, last entry at 4 pm. Standard admission for adults is $9.50 and children ages 3-12 are $8.50. Children age 2 and under are free. Zoo members are free. Please visit www.meskerparkzoo.com for additional information or to purchase a zoo membership online.
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden’s mission is to foster the preservation of the Earth’s diverse species and living systems through an active role in education and conservation in our regional and professional community. We will forge connections between people and the natural world by providing quality experiences that promote understanding and celebrate the rich tapestry of life.
Hashtag: #MeskerParkZoo, #WeAreAZA