Chiang Mai’s newborn giraffe a New Year gift to tourists

WITH there only being 8,500 reticulated giraffes left in the world, the birth of baby “Nong Pee  Mai” (Little New Year) at the Chiang Mai Night Safari is being celebrated as a New Year gift to tourists in welcoming 2018, the Thai-language daily Matichon reported today (Dec. 6).

Mrs Netnapha Suthithamdamrong, director of Pinkanakorn Development Agency,  which runs the nocturnal zoo, said the female baby giraffe was born to Phor Moss, 16, and Mae Joy, 15, on December 1.

“Right now Nong Pee Mai, the baby giraffe, is healthy and strong and Mae Joy is able to raise her baby naturally.

“Earlier Chiang Mai Night Safari had been able to breed 3 reticulated giraffes, with all being born to Phor Moss and Mae Joy, and this newborn is their 4th offspring,” she said.

The pregnancy of reticulated giraffes lasts 400 days and as there are only 8,500 of them left in the world, the total is very few compared to the 400 days it takes to get one baby, she added.

Baby giraffe two

Those who want to see the baby giraffe may do so at the nocturnal zoo’s giraffe feeding room, and can also call Pinkanakorn Development Agency’s public relations department to get further information at 053-920-000 or 053-999-000.

According to, the reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata), also known as the Somali giraffe, is a subspecies of giraffe native to the Horn of Africa.

It lives in Somalia, southern Ethiopia, and northern Kenya. There are approximately 8,500 individuals living in the wild.

The reticulated giraffe was described and given its binomial name by British zoologist William Edward de Winton in 1899, however the IUCN currently recognizes only one species of giraffe with nine subspecies.

Reticulated giraffes can interbreed with other giraffe species in captivity or if they come into contact with populations of other species in the wild.

Together with the Rothschild’s giraffe, it is by far the giraffe that is most commonly seen in zoos. Its coat consists of large, polygonal, liver-colored spots outlined by a network of bright-white lines. The blocks may sometimes appear deep red and may also cover the legs.


Top and in-text: Nong Pee Mai (Little New Year) with her mother Mae Joy. Photos: Matichon