TOPEKA, Kan. – TOMORROW, October 23, Sergeant Pepper, a year-and-a-half old, male, Reticulated Giraffe is making the trip to Topeka from his birth place at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
Sergeant Pepper and Hope the Giraffe will slowly get acquainted while Sergeant Pepper undergoes a 30-day quarantine period.
Sergeant Pepper is being sent to the Topeka Zoo to be paired with Hope as a breeding recommendation from the giraffe population management group.
Media is invited to the 2 p.m. arrival and unloading of the zoo’s newest family member. Media members interested in attending are encouraged to call Zoo Director Brendan Wiley (785-506-3797) on Wednesday, prior to 2 p.m., for confirmation of the arrival time.
· The giraffe population management plan needs 27 calves per year to maintain the current population and 44 births per year for reasonable growth.
· There are currently 422 giraffes at 84 North American Zoos.
· Males begin breeding at age 2 and can continue up to age 27.
· Most breeding occurs between the ages of 8-20.
· Male calves that survive their first 18 months have a life span of 11-12years and 75% will live 15-16years.
· Jesse, the Topeka Zoo’s long term male is 23 years old.
· Females begin breeding at age 2 and can continue to 31 with most breeding occurring between 6-25 yrs. Hope is three years old.
· Female calves that survive their first 18months live to be 15-16 years old. 75% Of females will live to be 20-21 years old. Hope’s mother Dolly is 29 years old.
· Sergeant Pepper is reported to be shy. Hope is described as outgoing.
· The giraffe exhibit at the Topeka Zoo was recently divided in half to allow for the short term management of two giraffe bulls.