West Valley zoo welcomes new baby giraffe


A zoo in the West Valley recently welcomed a newborn reticulated giraffe to the family.

Baby Jackie was born March 7, bringing the total number of baby giraffes at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park to three, according to the zoo. At just a few weeks old, she is already standing over 6 feet tall.

Wildlife World is temporarily closed to the public effective March 31 to ensure the safety of the community, employees and animals.

“We are excited to share updates of baby Jackie through our social media platforms, so families can still be inspired and involved from the safety of their homes,” said Kristy Morcom, director of media relations.

In the wild, the giraffe population is under a lot of pressure, according to the zoo. This is largely due to habitat loss, fragmentation, degradation, poaching, and ultimately the growth of the human population. Giraffes are declared Vulnerable to Extinction on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Joining the fight to save the giraffe population from extinction, Wildlife World has not only donated to organizations working to preserve giraffes but has also raised 12 of them in the last 18 years, according to a release. The giraffes are ambassadors for their species and inspire visitors to conserve and protect their wild counterparts.

Mickey Ollson, founder of the Wildlife World Zoo, believes the success of the zoo’s internationally recognized giraffe breeding program is due to the expertise and dedication from its management, keepers, veterinary team, and Arizona’s ideal climate conditions, which are similar to the savannas throughout Africa. 

Wildlife World’s keepers and veterinarians have raised dozens of species of wild and endangered animals over the past quarter century, according to the release.

As a USDA licensed, private institution, accredited by the Zoological Association of America and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums, Wildlife World Zoo receives zero taxpayer funding. No tax dollars have ever been spent to build or operate Wildlife World in its 33-year history, according to the release.

Wildlife World Zoo is at 16501 W. Northern Ave., east of Loop 303. While closed, the animals will continue to receive the exceptional care they are accustomed to by essential employees, according to the release.

For more information, call 623-935-WILD (9453) or visit Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter @ZooWildlife, and www.WildlifeWorld.com.