The Santa Barbara Zoo is saying goodbye to one of its Masai giraffes.
Parker was born at the zoo in August 2016. At 2-years-old, staff says he is now at the age where it is time to leave his herd, just as giraffes do in the wild.
With Masai giraffe numbers declining in the wild, the zoo says Parker will be introduced to two young females at the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, New York, in hopes they will eventually become his new mates.
“Every single giraffe born here at the Zoo serves a significant purpose: to help keep their species alive and thriving,” read a post on the Santa Barbara Zoo’s Facebook page. “The Zoo is proud to work with other AZA-accredited zoos as part of a Species Survival Plan, a cooperative program that makes sure the Masai population is genetically diverse.”
Parker is one of seven Masai giraffes born at the Santa Barbara Zoo since 2012.
There are reportedly only 104 Masai giraffes throughout the 28 accredited zoos in North America.
Parker will leave for his new home on Thursday.
It’s time to say goodbye to our Masai giraffe, Parker, as he heads to his new home on Thursday! He’s reached the age…