CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, NJ – The Cape May County Park and Zoo staff have big news to boast about as we enter 2016. When we say big news, we mean BIG news! Zoo favorites, Joanie and Sterling, two of the Zoo’s adult giraffes had a female calf born on December 13, 2015. When born, giraffe calves are an average of 6 feet tall! They can stand within 5 minutes and in 20 minutes can run close to the same speed as its mother.
The calf is the second for Joanie and Sterling. Joanie was born on October 30, 2006 and came to Cape May County from the Bronx Zoo in 2011. Sterling, the only male Giraffe at the zoo, has fathered two female calves. Sterling was born on September 5, 1996 and came from Busch Gardens in Florida.
The new calf was a SSP recommended birth. Her Sister ‘Faye’ was born in 2013 and has recently been transferred to The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo as part of an SSP recommended transfer for breeding.
Due to the cold weather, the new calf will not be going out into her habitat during the winter. However, she will be out and about for public viewing in the spring. The calf remains unnamed at this time.
In other Zoo news, Marty an 8 month old male Dromedary Camel calf arrived at the Zoo on Monday January 4th. Marty came from the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York. His acquisition was fully funded and supported by the Cape May County Zoological Society.
Dromedary Camels live in deserts and scrublands from Northern Africa to western India. They are Herbivores and eat vegetation consisting of mostly bushes and shrubs which makes up 70% of their diet. They are capable of drinking 30 gallons of water in 10 minutes and require 6-8 times more salt than other animals to aid in water absorption. Their hump is actually a fat reserve and not water.
Marty, who is reported to be a little ‘sweetie’, is currently living with the Zoo’s herd of Llama and Alpaca; once he grows up he will join the resident female Dromedary Camel ‘Carly’. ‘Marty’ can be viewed everyday at the zoo from 10 am until 3:45 pm.
Freeholder E. Marie Hayes, who oversees the Parks and Zoo, encourages residents to come to the zoo during the winter months to see Marty and all the animals who call the Cape May County Zoo their home. “The Cape May County Park and Zoo is an exciting place to visit throughout the year. The park is a great place for hiking, running and walks. Many of the zoo animals are active during the colder months and are out and about,” Hayes said.
The Cape May County Zoo is an AZA Accredited Zoo and participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP). The mission of an AZA Species Survival Plan® Program is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species population within AZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, and Sustainability Partners.