New giraffe at Knoxville Zoo

A new giraffe arrived in Knoxville this month to join the city’s zoo herd in the Grasslands Africa habitat. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, one-year-old “Frances” comes to Knoxville on the recommendation of the Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP), which manages the breeding and social placement of all giraffes in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). She will be a companion to the zoo’s two female giraffes, Patches and Lucille, and a potential mate for male Jumbe in a few years when she is fully grown.


Frances, a new giraffe welcomed into the herd at Knoxville Zoo, is approximately 10 feet tall and weighs 740 pounds, and her smaller stature will make it easy for zoo-goers to identify her. Photo submitted.

Also this month, Zoo Knoxville welcomed a new Western lowland gorilla, a female who has been christened “Andi”.

The baby is named in honor of Andie Ray, a community visionary who loved gorillas and supported Zoo Knoxville’s work to save Western lowland gorillas from extinction. Andie passed away unexpectedly in December, 2015. She was instrumental in connecting the Ray family to gorillas at Zoo Knoxville. The Ray family named the first gorilla ever born at the zoo, Obi, whose name means “heart”, in June of 2015. The name “Andi” means “brave, strong, valiant and courageous”.

Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. Zoo Knoxville features exhibits of wild animals in natural habitats and is world renowned for its efforts in conservation and species survival. Zoo Knoxville is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education.
Knoxville’s largest attraction, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Currently, the zoo is open daily from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes.

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