Greenville Zoo welcomes new giraffe

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The Greenville Zoo welcomed a new resident this week — Miles, a 7-year-old Masai giraffe. While Miles won’t be on exhibit for a while as he gets accustomed to his new home, the zoo’s Giraffe Cam will offer the public its first look beginning Friday.

“He is much taller than we expected and has some of the longest legs I have ever seen on a giraffe,” said Zoo Administrator Jeff Bullock.

The Giraffe Species Survival Program recommended earlier this year that Miles be transferred to the Greenville Zoo from Houston to breed with Autumn, the zoo’s female zoo. But the zoo staff delayed the transfer to give Autumn a chance to bond with her calf, Tatu, born in February. The birth of Autumn’s first calf, Kiko, was shown live on Giraffe Cam.

Walter, Kiko and Tatu’s father, was transferred to the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, N.J., in mid-April to join that zoo’s bachelor herd. He was one of 20 Masai giraffes from across North America recommended for transfer by the SSP. Autumn was one of 39 females recommended for breeding. Miles is ranked 12th genetically within the male breeding population of 53 giraffes, while Autumn is ranked 10th genetically within the female breeding population of 61 giraffes.

Miles must first undergo a 30-day quarantine period before he is allowed to share the giraffe exhibit with Autumn and Tatu, Bullock said. The quarantine is protocol for all new zoo residents.

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