Zoo welcomes lion and giraffe


  The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore has two new additions--Kesi, a two-year- old giraffe and Badu, a two-year-old African lioness.  "We are very happy to welcome these two animals to our Zoo," said Don Hutchinson, president/CEO of The Maryland Zoo.  "Each will help create a new dynamic with their respective herd or pride, and we hope that our visitors will enjoy learning about them and their species during their visits to the Zoo."

  Kesi (Kess-ee) arrived at the Zoo on Friday, October 12 from the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  "She is a very sweet, young giraffe," said Mike McClure, general curator .  "We are very happy to have her at the Zoo and think she will be a great companion to our two giraffe, Angel and Caesar." "Right now she stands about 11 feet tall and weighs around 1000 pounds."

  Badu (Baa-dew) arrived at the Zoo in July from the Racine Zoo in Racine, Wisconsin.  After her initial 30-day quarantine, Badu was moved to the lion night quarters to begin acclimating to her new home.  "For some animals the acclimation process is fairly quick, but lions can be very aggressive, so we are taking the introduction of Badu to both Cuma and Hassan very slowly," said McClure.  "Badu is very comfortable in the exhibit on her own, and we will continue with animal introductions behind the scenes with a goal of having all three lions together as a pride in a few months."

   McClure said Zoo visitors can see Kesi every day at the Giraffe House.  "However, Badu's presence in the lion yard will not be as predictable," he said.  "She will be on-and-off exhibit as she is introduced to both Cuma and Hassan -- that schedule shifts daily based on a variety of factors."

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