The Greenville Zoo will bid farewell to its 2-year-old Masai giraffe, Kiko, who will be leaving in mid-May for his new home at the Toronto Zoo in Canada. Kiko will join two female giraffes with the hope that they will breed and produce offspring.
“Having to say goodbye to Kiko is going to be especially difficult for the Greenville Zoo staff and Upstate community,” said Greenville Zoo Administrator Jeff Bullock. “We followed Kiko through every milestone of his life, from watching him take his first steps to seeing him develop into an active and curious young giraffe. He will always be a part of the Greenville Zoo family, and we look forward to following the next journey of his life as he begins a new family in Toronto.”
The move to the Toronto Zoo was recommended by a Species Survival Program (SSP) of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). The SSP develops long-term research and management strategies for the species. One of the most important roles of the SSP is to ensure that all giraffes are managed in a way that preserves the best possible genetic diversity.
Viewers worldwide watched the birth of Kiko on October 22, 2012 on the zoo’s GiraffeCam. Kiko was the first baby for Autumn, 9-year-old female Masai giraffe, and Walter, 9-year-old male. Autumn was born at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Walter is from the San Diego Zoo. Both animals arrived in Greenville in July 2007 as part of a three-way loan agreement. The zoo will hold a farewell celebration for Kiko on May 16 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. near the Giraffe Exhibit.
To view a list of frequently asked questions regarding Kiko’s departure, visit http://greenvillezoo.com/242/Kiko-FAQs.
About the Greenville Zoo
Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the Greenville Zoo is rated one of the best tourist attractions in South Carolina, attracting 300,000 people annually. Operated by the City of Greenville, the 14-acre facility features wildlife from around the world, including orangutans, giraffes, monkeys and giant tortoises. Visitors can also enjoy one of the zoo’s most popular exhibits, the Reptile Building, which is home to a variety of lizards, frogs, turtles and snakes.
The Greenville Zoo is open seven days a week, except on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Zoo entry ticket sales close at 4:15 p.m. Admission to the Greenville Zoo is $8.75 for adults and $5.50 for children (ages 3-15 years old). For more information about the Greenville Zoo, visit www.greenvillezoo.com or follow the zoo on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greenvillezoo.
Greenville Zoo Director
Office: (864) 467-4515
Cell: (864) 444-1480