We can now reveal the name people have chosen for our third giraffe at Wild Place Project – it’s Dayo.
In an on-line poll, Dayo came out clearly on top winning three times as many votes as Bem and almost 12 times more than Lesedi.
Dayo, which means joy or happiness to come, is 18 months old and came from Amsterdam Zoo with three-year-old Gerry, while two and a half-year-old Tom was brought to Wild Place Project from Germany.
The three are now settling down to life in their new £1 million purpose built house and paddock at the attraction near Cribbs Causeway.
The giraffe house is part of a 1.8 acre enclosure in Wild Place Project’s new Bénoué National Park exhibit. It is two storeys high with special viewing areas at ground and first floor level for guests.
The giraffe house at Wild Place links to a new field conservation project to save one of the few remaining populations of Central African giraffe left in the wild. Experts from Bristol Zoological Society travelled to Cameroon to begin a critical research effort to map the habitat and conduct a population census of some of the remaining Kordofan giraffe using drone technology.
They hope to establish whether there is a sustainable population of this highly threatened giraffe subspecies that they can work to conserve and help save from extinction.
Wild giraffe numbers have fallen from 140,000 to less than 80,000 in just 15 years. There are now fewer giraffe left in the wild than African elephants.
Nigel Simpson, head of operations at Wild Place Project, said: “The giraffe arrival is a major step forward for Wild Place but it is also crucially important in the survival of these graceful animals.”
“Kordofan giraffe are in very serious trouble in the wild with threats from habitat loss due to huge herds of cattle present in the area and poaching for bushmeat, these iconic animals are disappearing quickly and quietly towards extinction. If nothing is done to protect them, there is a real chance they will be lost forever.”
Bristol Zoological Society, which owns and operates Wild Place Project and Bristol Zoo Gardens, is a conservation and education charity that relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents. For more information about the Society’s conservation projects, visit the website at www.bristolzoo.org.uk/save-wildlife.