On Saturday, September 24, the Houston Zoo welcomed Joshua, a male Masai giraffe, from the Virginia Zoo. Joshua joins the Houston Zoo family at the recommendation of the Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, with hopes for him to sire calves with female Masai giraffes in the Houston herd.
The arrival comes days after Miles, a seven-year-old male Masai giraffe, departed the Houston Zoo for Greenville Zoo in South Carolina under the same SSP recommendations as Joshua. Miles was a regular visitor to the giraffe feeding platform, where he enjoyed offerings of lettuce from Zoo guests who could easily recognize his unique, heart-shaped birth mark.
Joshua will spend a standard duration of 30 days in quarantine at the giraffe barn, and will be monitored by Zoo veterinarians and keepers before making his public debut.