Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hope, Sesi, and Watoto

The photo above is a screen capture of a video I was linked to by e-mail.* With a little research, I was able to determine that this freshly-arrived little creature (shown here just after dropping to the ground after 14 months' gestation) came into the world on October 10, 2008, at the Memphis Zoo. Sesi, as she was later named, was quickly up on her feet and nursing from her mother. Within 2 months, she had a new half-sister.

To complement that story about a giraffe birth was a sad story in the weird news this week about a giraffe death. Watoto, a 6-year-old at Tucson's Reid Park Zoo (photos here), suffered cardiac arrest after he was fed toxic oleander cuttings by an apprentice zookeeper. “This was a horrible and unfortunate accident that resulted in the loss of an animal. Our staff is broken-hearted,” said a zoo administrator. A 20-year-old giraffe survived the unintentional poisoning, which was discovered Tuesday morning.

Lastly, a story about aptly-named Hope, who lives at the Topeka Zoo. The giraffe just celebrated her 1st birthday, while zoo staff celebrated her first steps walking unaided. Born with hyperextended fetlocks, a rare deformity in which the rear feet are bent forward (photo here), she was outfitted with fiberglass casts attached to plywood shoes to allow her front tendons to stretch. A zoo spokesman was looking forward to watching the young giraffe resume normal activities: "It is fantastic to see Hope walking completely normally now. One of her favourite things to do is chase squirrels and birds."

*Thanks, Sandra!


  1. You post just the most fascinating variety of unique stories. Thank you!

  2. The birth of the giraffe is one of the neatest things I've seen! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful video. ^-^


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