The zoo in the US state of Tennessee witnessed the birth of what is believed to be the only giraffe in the world without spotted skin.
The British newspaper The Guardian reported, Monday, August 21, 2023, that Athna the giraffe was born on July 31, 2023, and quoted Brights Zoo as saying that the giraffe is already 6 feet (182 centimeters) tall, and is growing up under the care of its mother and zoo staff.
The zoo believes that the giraffe is unique. Since giraffes are rarely born without their spotted appearance, which primarily serves as a form of camouflage in the wild.
The spotted skin patches also contain a system of blood vessels that allow the giraffes to release heat from the center of each patch; This provides a form of thermoregulation.
Each giraffe, with the exception of the newborn in the Tennessee zoo, has a unique pattern of spots on its skin, which researchers believe is inherited from its mothers.
Brights Zoo said it hoped the unusual birth would help highlight the challenges faced by giraffes around the world, as the world's tallest animal is threatened by the disintegration of its African habitat and poaching.
Brights Zoo founder Tony Bright told local television news station WCYB: “The international coverage our young spotted giraffe has received has highlighted the need to preserve giraffes. This wild population is silently sliding towards extinction, with loss 40% of the number of wild giraffes in the past three decades alone.
The zoo announced a competition for the public to name the new giraffe. Among the options for names on the shortlist were: "Kebiki" meaning unique in Swahili, "Firali" meaning unusual, "Shakiri" meaning the most beautiful, and "beautiful".
Source : The Guardian Published on Monday, August 21, 2023