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.