Posted on 13th November 2020 by Media Relations
Mutangi, the oldest Giraffe in Australia, turns 30 today at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo.
Mutangi was the first Giraffe calf to be born in Dubbo back in 1990 and has lived at Taronga Western Plains Zoo for her entire life. Mutangi has since gone on to leave a lasting legacy in the regional breeding program, with four generations of her offspring living in herds in zoos and wildlife parks across Australia and New Zealand.
“Three generations of her offspring still remain here with her in the herd in Dubbo, including the two most recent Giraffe calves born into the herd this year, Layla and Losiligi,” said Giraffe Keeper, Bobby-Jo Vial.
Mutangi has successfully raised nine calves in her lifetime at the Zoo, and many of them have gone on to have young of their own.
“There are actually 12 individuals in Dubbo across the main Giraffe breeding herd and the bachelor group on the African Savannah that all trace back to Mutangi,” said Bobby-Jo.
“To celebrate her milestone birthday, keepers have put together a special enrichment wreath made of eucalypt.”
“Giraffe are a browsing animal, meaning they eat tree leaves and branches, so the wreath is a fitting birthday present from her keepers,” said Bobby-Jo.
Whilst Mutangi is the oldest Giraffe in Australia, she is also the second oldest Giraffe in a zoo or wildlife park in the world.
The life expectancy for a Giraffe in the wild is approximately 25 years, which can be higher for Giraffe in zoo-based environments.
“Mutangi is definitely a special animal, her keepers have a soft spot for her. We even have one supervisor who was a trainee keeper when she was born here in Dubbo, and has been able to witness her journey through motherhood and see her build her legacy.”
“Mutangi is now well and truly in her twilight years and whilst she is a little slower and takes her time to eat, she is still in good health for her age. I hope she has more healthy years ahead of her at the Zoo,” said Bobby-Jo.