INUKI, means Scent in Swahili.
The Wrocław Zoo has welcomed a new resident to the world - Inuki. This is great news because the reticulated giraffe is one of the species endangered with extinction. There are 35% fewer of them in nature than previously thought! One of the most beloved species in Africa is undergoing a "silent extinction".
The first enclosure that we see when entering the Wrocław zoo is Savanna. The exhibit covers an area of more than one hectare. It is inhabited by Chapman's zebras, South African ostriches, red hartebeest, and reticulated giraffes. There is always something going on there. The zebras try to chase away the giraffes, the male ostrich struts in front of the females, and the giraffes try to look at everything from their 4-meter perspective. There are also moments of truce when on warm days all the animals of the Savanna bask in the sun next to each other.
The enclosure vibrates with excitement when the young appear. All the animals circle around the new baby. They gaze and sniff trying to get to know it better. But the vigilant mother is always there to keep away the snoopers until the baby is confident enough to do it herself. On March 4 this year a reticulated giraffe was born - the daughter of Imara and Rafiki.
-Knowing that Imara was due any day, we started our morning rounds with her. That Thursday, when my friend and I entered the giraffe's hut, we noticed that the labor had already started. It was a textbook birth that lasted about 40 minutes. There were no complications, although giraffes are born spectacularly because they drop 1.5m to the ground. We welcomed the baby to the world at 7:47 A.M. and we right away noticed it was a female - says Agnieszka Chałupka, animal keeper from the Wrocław zoo.
Imara is an experienced mother, so she took care of her baby right away - she cleaned it thoroughly with her tongue. Within an hour she helped her daughter get up and after another hour was already nursing her.
On the day of her birth, the little girl was given the name INUKI, meaning Scent in Swahili.
- All our giraffes have names that come from the Swahili language used in Africa where this species of giraffes occurs. Imara means Courage, Rafiki -Friend, Shani-Scarlet, and Nala -Gift. Two colleagues of mine, Robert and Artur, named Inuka after watching her behavior shortly after she'd born - adds Chałupka.
Little Inuka already goes out in the small yard by the giraffe's hut. Around Easter, she should be ready for the large Savanna enclosure. A chance to watch her prance around is worth a visit to the zoo.
- We are used to thinking of certain animal species as integral and unchanging elements of the landscape. Africa is most associated with lions, elephants, hippos, and giraffes usually in the context of pop culture, for example, films such as "The Lion King". Meanwhile, there are almost no safe refuges for wild animals there. They live relatively safely only in the parks and reserves that are fenced, monitored, and guarded by armed rangers. Despite these measures, we are not successful - giraffe numbers are falling. The reason is mainly poaching and habitat degradation caused by the construction of new roads and settlements. Climate change is also a factor. If we do not start acting more extensively to protect nature, we will see wild animals only in zoos and videos- says Radosław Ratajszczak, president of the Wrocław zoo.