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Buffalo Zoo welcomes new animals

Photo from Buffalo Zoo Website

The crowds that filled The Buffalo Zoo yesterday saw some new animals, part of an effort at species preservation. The two most visible new animals are a sprouting giraffe and a rapidly-growing rhino.

Moke the giraffe isn't all that big yet, but he will be, and Zoo President and CEO Donna Fernandes says the color pattern on his body is a little different from the current giraffes.

George the rhino is large and growing rapidly. Over the next two years, he's  expected to move from around 3,000 pounds to 6,000 pounds.

Both are here as part of an international breeding program for endangered species and will eventually mate with animals currently in Delaware Park.

Fernandes says there is a worldwide social register of animals.

"There's a database called the International Species Inventory System, ISIS, and it has a complete geneology of all of the sort of zoo animals, not only just in this country, but around the world, " Fernandes explained.

"It has data from about 10 million animals from 83 countries. So, that is the complete geneology."

Fernandes says animals are moved in and out over a long period of time to ensure there is no mating with close relatives to provide healthy offspring.


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.