SEATTLE — A new adventure awaits Hasani the giraffe at Woodland Park Zoo.
“He’s old enough. He needs to move on and start a family of his own,” explained the zoo’s Animal Curator Martin Ramirez.
Hasani captured hearts around the globe when he was born in May of 2019. He was diagnosed with abnormalities in his rear legs, a condition known as hyperextended fetlocks. But thanks to the help of an equine specialist, Hasani was given new therapeutic shoes and now he can walk and run with no issues whatsoever.
Now at a year and a half old, Ramirez said this is the natural age for a giraffe calf to leave its herd.
“Hasani is a male. And so he’s now reaching that age, where giraffes in nature, a giraffe male in nature, would actually start looking at his dad as a competitor,” said Ramirez.
Hasani is now 13 feet tall and weighs nearly 1,300 pounds.
Ramirez said Hasani’s genetics are pretty well represented now and there was not a placement for Hasani at a facility accredited with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Instead, he’s headed to a private facility in Merkel, Texas which is home to other animals but not open to the public.
“This new facility was set up so they could work very closely with other zoos around the country for breeding of other species,” Ramirez added.
Hasani’s new home is affiliated with Hemker Park & Zoo in Freeport, Minnesota which isn’t accredited by AZA but is licensed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Ramirez said he personally visited the Texas facility.
“Because they were brand-new, I actually went out there on the zoo’s behalf to look at the place, to ensure that they were meeting all of our standards with regards to animal care. And I came back, I was really impressed with that place, so I came back and gave them a glowing recommendation,” Ramirez said.
Although it’s tough to say goodbye, the zoo is proud to have been a part of Hasani’s journey.
“Whenever we do get to a point we have to move an animal, it can be hard but we stay in touch,” Ramirez said.
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