Zoo in Mississippi to get 2 giraffes, seeks accreditation

Pine Belt

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — Two giraffes are coming to a Mississippi zoo that is seeking to get accredited by an international organization.

The Hattiesburg Zoo will welcome the animals in the late spring or early summer for a new exhibit, which will begin with a female giraffe and her offspring, said Rick Taylor, executive director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission.

A male giraffe will be added to the mix in the future, Taylor said.

“Our exhibit is designed to be a giraffe breeding facility, so, we will increase that and we have the capacity to go up to possibly six giraffes, that would be our long term goal,” he added.

The zoo also has had its eyes set on receiving accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for about a decade. To meet association standards, an inspecting team will observe all aspects of the zoo’s operation, including animal care and welfare.

“We expect this summer to be visited by an accreditation team and then, we hope to sit for accreditation approval in the fall,” Taylor said.

The AZA requires zoos and aquariums to go through the process every five years to receive accreditation.

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