DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Zoo’s newest giraffe has made his public debut. Tsavo ran out from his pen shortly after 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
The Dallas Zoo said that Tsavo has spent the last few weeks gaining confidence, learning to run, experiencing new sights and smells as he is introduced to new environments, and becoming familiar with Uncle Auggie, Aunt Jade and several other of his giraffe herd mates.
The 3-week-old calf’s name is a tribute to Tsavo National Park in Kenya, home to a population of Masai giraffes.
While Tsavo is a reticulated giraffe (also known as the Somali giraffe; a subspecies of giraffe native to the Horn of Africa), his name pays homage to his kind in Africa.
Giraffe populations are under heavy pressure from poaching, habitat loss and competition from wildlife, according to the zoo. Some experts have even predicted that the reticulated giraffe subspecies could be extinct by 2020.
The hope is that Tsavo will help raise awareness as an ambassador for his endangered species.