photo - kianga, female giraffe, full face head shot, beige color with black markings all over, brown mane, large ears, 2 blk horns, with black forehead running down to nose, beautiful large eyes with long lashes, cute muzzle, nostrils and mouth

Louisville Zoo Welcomes New Female Giraffe

CONTACT: Kyle Shepherd
Direct: 502-238-5331  |  Media Only: 502-744-5639

Meet Kianga — a new 1-year-old female Masai giraffe joins us from the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens in California. Kianga was born November 9, 2016 in Los Angeles and her name means “sunshine” in Swahili.

Kianga is currently on exhibit in rotation with 2-year-old male giraffe Baridi and 21-year-old female giraffe Malaika.


Female giraffes grow to be 16 feet tall and weigh up to 2,600 pounds. The signature long neck has only seven vertebrae, the same as most mammals. To counteract the demands of such a long neck, there are valves in the veins of the neck to prevent blood from rushing back too fast. They also have a massive heart (approximately two feet long and 25 pounds in adults) and extremely high blood pressure which is necessary to force blood up the seven or eight foot path to the brain. Giraffes are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Their status was changed from least concern in 2016 after new population surveys estimated an overall 36 – 40 percent decline in the giraffe population from 1985 to 2015. Greatest threats for giraffes include habitat loss and changes through expanding agriculture and mining, illegal hunting and increasing human-wildlife conflict.


The Louisville Zoo, a nonprofit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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