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Seneca Park Zoo giraffe, Iggy, is pregnant

Iggy, one of the female giraffes at the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester.
Office of Monroe County Executive Adam Bello
Iggy, one of the female giraffes at the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester.

Seneca Park Zoo officials have announced that a female Masai giraffe, Iggy, is pregnant.

The news comes just days after the zoo reported that a biopsy revealed that another of the female giraffes, Kipenzi, has a cancerous growth on her jaw.

Iggy and a male giraffe at the Seneca Park Zoo, named Parker, are the parents of a male giraffe, Olmstead, who was born in April of 2022.

Parker died last February after being found caught in a support structure for the giraffe enclosure gate.

A statement on social media from the Seneca Park Zoo noted that giraffes have a long gestation period, 450 days, so assuming there will be a successful birth, officials said that Parker’s legacy will live on not only through Olmstead, but a new calf.

Zoo officials said that giraffe births always carry significant risk, but they are hoping for the best and are looking at a due date sometime in October.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said that the giraffes are a very popular animal at the zoo, and he said there is also important work being done here to help that species survive.

“The population of the Masai giraffes around the world is dwindling, it’s going down, we’re one of the few AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) zoos around the country, a handful of them that are breeding the giraffes and adding to the population," said Bello. "I think this is good for educational purposes, it’s also good for the survival of the species."

Seneca Park Zoo officials said last week that the prognosis for Kipenzi is poor, but veterinary staff said that Kipenzi is doing well right now, and if they see signs Kipenzi is in pain and medications are not helping her, then they will have to make the difficult decision for euthanasia to prevent her from suffering.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.