Oakland Zoo welcomes new giraffe named Kijiji

(Courtesy of the Oakland Zoo,)

A young female giraffe came to the Oakland Zoo from Kansas City last week and made its first visit into the zoo's giraffe exhibit on Thursday, zoo officials said.

Kijiji, a nearly 2-year-old giraffe standing 11 feet tall, came to Oakland from the Lee Richardson Zoo in Kansas City on April 29 as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan that is promoting genetic diversity in captive giraffe.

Kijiji has been deemed an excellent genetic match with Mabusu, the Oakland Zoo's male resident giraffe. Zoo officials say female giraffe typically show interest in breeding when they're around 4 years old.

Her trip to Oakland took 30 hours via a trailer that was 13 and a half feet tall, according to the zoo. She met the zoo's five other giraffe after arriving, but waited until Thursday morning to enter the exhibit despite having access to it for the past several days.

Zoo officials said she was "warmly welcomed into the herd."

Ann Marie Bisagno, zoological manager at the Oakland Zoo, said the giraffe "was in good spirits upon her arrival to Oakland, and she has been eating well and exploring her surroundings."