It’s a boy!  »

I saw this story on the news Saturday night (shut up! I wouldn’t have gone out even if I did have somewhere to go!) and gee whiz, what a cutie! A little Masai giraffe was just born at Safari West, an African safari park in wine country. His name is Stretch McCovey, after some San Francisco Giants hall of fame player who was probably nowhere near as good as Mike Schmidt. But his nickname was Stretch, and this is a baby giraffe, get it? But for real, that’s a cute name. And just look at his face! SO CUTE! He’s all like, “DID I STUTTER?”

Really, I say this a lot, but I think baby giraffes are my new favorite animal! This is the 14th giraffe born at Safari West and in total, they now have the largest privately owned giraffe herd in the United States!

As soon as I saw it was some tourist attraction, I was immediately like, “ABUSE!” but turns out this place isn’t so bad. And according to Vegansaur Steve, it’s pretty great! “I’ve been to Safari West (stayed overnight, did the full tour) and it seems to be the real deal,” he says. “Virtually no enclosures, just wide open spaces and the animals seemed very suited to the hot, dry environment of wine country.”

And Safari West has a blurb about their breeding programs in the new born announcement:

Breeding Success—Safari West is committed to the management of captive populations to support wild populations, and continues to put significant effort into the conservation of the many species which call Safari West home…. “To allow our animals to exhibit naturalistic behaviors, including reproduction, we make every attempt to provide our wildlife with the most naturalistic settings possible. This includes multi-acre habitats, wooded areas, streams, and ponds,” says Nancy Lang, Ph.D. The environments found on the 400-acre wildlife preserve at Safari West are much like those found in the exotic and untamed lands of the African continent.

That kind of does sound great! I also found this bit in their FAQ: “Safari West is not a zoo or a theme park, nor are we a drive-through park. We are an African Wildlife Preserve and African Tent Camp. Safari West Wildlife Preserve is a private facility whose primary focus is on conservation through education.”

Sounds pretty legit. And Steve told me that thanks to Safari West, Scimitar-Horned Oryx populations are being introduced into northern central Africa after being nearly hunted to extinction. Kudos!

[Images from Safari West website and this Sonoma county real estate blog]

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