What’s five feet tall, weighs almost one hundred pounds and has the name “mouse”? A new baby reticulated giraffe at Memphis Zoo!
A baby girl, named “Panya,” was born Sunday, August 13 to parents “Angela Kate” and “Niklas.” Panya is Swahili, and means “tiny,” or “mouse,” and references her petite frame. Giraffes are usually around six feet when born.
“We are thrilled to welcome Panya into our herd,” said Courtney Janney, area curator. “This has certainly been a big year for our giraffes, as we welcomed Panya’s half-brothers “Bogey” and “Wakati” earlier this year. Three calves in four months is something to celebrate!”
With the addition of Panya, Memphis Zoo’s giraffe herd grows to 10 individuals. Between 1995 and 2006, Memphis Zoo did not have a single giraffe birth. Angela Kate, Panya’s mother, was the first giraffe calf born at the Memphis Zoo in a decade, when she was born in 2006.
Angela Kate’s mother, “Alta,” was a first-time mother, and didn’t show adequate maternal care. She was hand-reared by Zoo staff, with help from “Marilyn,” a giraffe that acted as her surrogate mother.
“Angela Kate is a phenomenal mother,” said Janney. “Considering that she herself was hand-reared, she’s shown amazing maternal instincts. Marilyn has been behind-the-scenes with both Angela Kate and Panya, and all three have formed a close bond.”