The zoo says 12-foot-tall and growing “Buttercup” the Masai giraffe arrived Wednesday in a special trailer that was towed from the Santa Barbara Zoo. Cameras recorded Buttercup’s first moments as he inspected his new home. Keepers gave him access to the indoor space and walled off a section of the yard in order to ease his transition.
According to the Oregon Zoo, Masai giraffes are the largest giraffe subspecies and the tallest mammals on earth. They can grow to around 18 feet tall.
Oregon Zoo deputy director Sheri Horizsny said, “Every Masai giraffe we care for is critical to keeping this species alive, and Buttercup is especially important, genetically speaking, because he has very few relatives in zoos. Our hope is that he will start a family of his own one day.”
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