Giraffe leaves Little Rock Zoo | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Giraffe leaves Little Rock Zoo

Posted By on Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 11:22 AM

click to enlarge THE LATE JIGSAW: His foe is off to Abilene.
  • THE LATE JIGSAW: His foe is off to Abilene.

Remember Mesi, the giraffe that killed the zoo's 14-year-old giraffe Jigsaw at the Little Rock Zoo last December? The zoo has sent Mesi packing, off to the Abilene Zoo. There, he'll join female giraffes and, the zoo hopes, produce baby giraffes. 

Here's the Zoo's news release: 

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Oct. 8, 2014) – The Little Rock Zoo announced today that its giraffe, Mesi, has left for a new home at the Abilene Zoo.

The giraffe was transported yesterday and safely unloaded in an off-exhibit barn where he will be kept until the Abilene Zoo finishes construction on a new $3.8 million exhibit. Mesi will join two female giraffes with the hope that he will breed the two to produce offspring.

The move to Abilene Zoo was recommended by the Species Survival Plan (SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The SSP is committed to conserving and protecting animals and makes recommendations to AZA members for animal breeding and companionship.

Mesi came to the Little Rock Zoo from the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Park in 2006 when he was barely a year old and has lived at the Zoo ever since. Mesi is considered a larger giraffe in the SSP weighing nearly 2,500 pounds and standing more than 18 feet tall.
The Little Rock Zoo is working with the SSP to acquire two new giraffes in the near future but the date of that acquisition has not been set. Until then, Zoo staff will work on updating the exhibit.
Mesi and Jigsaw had been separated, but the younger giraffe managed to open a metal dividing gate last December and fought with Jigsaw until Jigsaw fell. Zoo staff found him lying on the ground in his barn the morning after the fight.

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