Giraffe barn remains open so Topekans can meet new giraffe, Daisy

13 News at Six
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 11:51 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The giraffe barn at the Topeka Zoo will remain open so visitors can view the newest addition to Giraffe and Friends, Daisy.

The Topeka Zoo announced on Monday, April 24, that Daisy, a 1-year-old reticulated giraffe has arrived in the Capital City from the Jacksonville, Fla., Zoo and Gardens. She will join Hope, Sarge and Liz in the new Giraffe and Friends exhibit which has been open for just over a month.

Officials said Daisy arrived at 2:45 a.m. and calmly walked off the trailer into her new habitat. As part of animal care protocol, they said Daisy will be quarantined in the new giraffe barn to ensure she is healthy and acclimates well to her new surroundings.

Due to her calm arrival, the Zoo indicated the barn will stay open which makes this a rare opportunity to view a new animal during its quarantine period.

“We are excited to welcome Daisy into our giraffe herd,” said Animal Curator Wrylie Guffey. “She is a confident giraffe, but we are giving her time to settle into the barn and meet the other giraffes through nuzzles. Over the next several weeks, we will monitor the behaviors we see between Hope, Liz, and Daisy and determine the best time for Daisy to join them.”

Officials said Daisy’s arrival is an important step in national conservation efforts for the species as she comes as a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. The SSP is a program to ensure the long-term survival of endangered species in zoos and aquariums.

“We are excited to see the Giraffe & Friends exhibit expand with the arrival of Daisy,” said Brendan Wiley, CEO. “This is an important moment for the Topeka Zoo, as it allows us to further educate and inform people about the importance of conservation efforts for endangered species like the reticulated giraffe.”

The Topeka Zoo has seen a busy year with many new additions. Wiley asserts that Daisy is just what they needed to refresh the giraffe program.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Daisy,” said Wiley. “She really represents kind of newness to our giraffe program that’s been here for decades but now we’re going to take it to a whole other level.”

The Zoo said it is excited to welcome Daisy and is looking forward to introducing her to visitors. It said the “friends” in Giraffe and Friends, a Lesser Kudu, Ostrich, Grey Crowned Crane and Thomson’s Gazelle will also soon arrive.