The Calgary Zoo has a new giraffe with the arrival of Emara, a five-year-old female from the San Diego Zoo.

Emara arrived in Calgary earlier this summer and has been settling into her new surroundings, and getting to know Nabo, her new mate.

The addition of Emara brings the total population of Masai giraffe in Canada to four. There are less than 30 of all types of giraffe in zoos in this country, and only nine zoos taking part in conservation of the animals.

“As a conservation organization, we are dedicated to protecting species here at home and around the world,” says Dr. Malu Celli, Curator, Calgary Zoo. “Wild giraffe populations have decreased by 50 per cent, due mostly to habitat loss and poaching in the wild. In this way, we are helping to play a role in the preservation of the species.”

Emara is part of the Species Survival Plan which is a responsible breeding program aimed at protecting genetic diversity of species in captivity. She joins Calgary Zoo’s male giraffe Nabo and females Carrie and Moshi.