Lifestyle & Human Interest

Ohio Zoo Welcomes 'Miracle Baby' Giraffe After Devastating Loss


The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio, is celebrating the much-anticipated arrival of a Masai giraffe calf born on Aug. 31.

The zoo is invested in the care and breeding of this endangered species but suffered a devastating loss last year when one of its bull giraffes, Enzi, had to be humanely euthanized, according to WLWT.

Born in December 2009, Enzi made his way to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in November 2013.

According to WLWT, officials at the zoo revealed that the male giraffe had been struggling with unusually low circulating phosphorous, which affected his skeletal, muscular and metabolic functions.

Though the zoo tried out treatments, none of them were ultimately successful, and Enzi continued to suffer. Out of options, the zoo made the difficult decision to let Enzi rest and had him euthanized.

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Staff said he was “kind, majestic, an inspiration to our staff and our guests, and had all of the best qualities of a bull giraffe,” according to WLWT.

But now, about a year later, a new, little male giraffe has been born, and the zoo couldn’t be more excited about the important new arrival — especially since the baby’s father is Enzi.

“The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is celebrating the arrival of an adorable — and very important — new face in the Heart of Africa region,” the zoo posted on Facebook. “With a fuzzy mane, unique spot pattern, enviable eyelashes, and long wobbly legs that have already supported excited ‘zoomies,’ a male Masai giraffe calf was born on Wednesday, August 31, 2022 at 2:45 p.m. to mom, Zuri.

“Not only is the calf fiercely cute, but his birth is especially significant as it marks an important achievement for the future of this endangered species. At this time, the little guy doesn’t have a name, but we hope it will be forthcoming!”

“In 2020, Zuri gave birth to calf, Ralph, who still resides at the Columbus Zoo in the savanna with the rest of the giraffe herd, including calves, Sammie and Schaefer, who were also born that year. The father of all four calves, Enzi, was humanely euthanized on September 23, 2021 due to chronic and deteriorating health issues that were not responding to treatment,” the post continued.

Mother Zuri and the new baby appear to be healthy and doing well, though they will be spending the foreseeable future out of the public eye, so they can bond, and the baby can grow in as stress-free an environment as possible.

Curator of the zoo’s Heart of Africa region, Shannon Borders, called the newest addition an “amazing gift” that continues the late Enzi’s legacy.

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“We are always thrilled to welcome the birth of a giraffe,” she said, according to WWMT. “Twenty-two giraffes have been born at the Columbus Zoo over the course of our history, but this latest birth — our 23rd — is particularly special.

“We were heartbroken to lose Enzi, and this calf is such an amazing gift to us and to the future of all Masai giraffes. This little one is truly our miracle baby, and it warms our hearts that Enzi’s legacy continues to live on to have such a positive impact.”

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