Honolulu Zoo welcomes new ohana, two endangered giraffes named Neeliz and Sandi


Neelix and Sandi at the Honolulu Zoo. (Courtesy of the City and County of Honolulu)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Zoo said aloha to two new Reticulated Giraffes from the Albuquerque Biological Park on Thursday, May 21.

Neelix, a male giraffe, was born on January 6, 2019, and is one year and four months old. Sandi, a female, was born on July 5, 2019, and is about 10 months old. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has the Reticulated Giraffe listed as “endangered,” on the IUCN Red List.

“The Honolulu Zoo is very excited to welcome these two giraffes,” said Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos. “Animals of that size are difficult, logistically, and not always available. We’re very fortunate and thankful that the Albuquerque Zoo donated these animals to add to our zoo ʻohana.”

As part of the AZA Species Survival Plan, the new giraffes will be on display in the African Savanna after their quarantine period ends.

Giraffes are the tallest mammals in the world, have an average life expectancy of approximately 20 years in the wild and approximately 25 years in captivity. Squirt, the zoo’s current resident giraffe, is 20-years-old. Giraffes are herd animals, and inclusion of Neelix and Sandi brings the total count of giraffes at the Honolulu Zoo to three.

Despite their appearance, giraffes and humans share the same number of cervical vertebrae in their necks: seven.


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