Benito the Giraffe Isn't Lonely Anymore

Now he has joined a giraffe herd.

Feb 6, 2024
Benito the Giraffe Isn't Lonely Anymore | Now he has joined a giraffe herd.

A 4-year-old adolescent giraffe named Benito was recently moved to his new home in an animal park in Central Mexico. Before this move, he was the sole occupant at a dusty park in the northern city of Ciudad Juarez but animal activists advocated for the lonely giraffe and their hopes have now been fulfilled, reported AP News.

His new home at the Africam Safari park already has seven giraffes in its 7.5 acre enclosure. Benito is going to have to learn to get along with the other giraffes in his neighborhood.

The long journey
It was a 30-hour journey to Benito’s new home, reported CBS News, but it was necessary. Since May 2023, Benito was living at the Central Park zoo in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, where the desert climate reached unsafe temperatures and the winters were unseasonably cold.

He was transferred there from a zoo in Sinaloa which has a more temperate climate because there was a breeding pair there and it was thought that the male would harm the young giraffe when he reached maturity.

But the new zoo was a very unhealthy climate for the giraffe. Benito needed better weather conditions and a better life with other animals around him. The transfer occurred just before a cold front was due to hit the area.

On Sunday, January 21, 2024 a large crate that was more than 16 and a half feet tall (5 meters),  holding Benito, was lifted onto a truck to begin the journey home. People who loved the giraffe were on hand to say goodbye and animal activists shouted, “We love you, Benito,” in a very bittersweet farewell.

“We're a little sad that he's leaving. But it also gives us great pleasure. ... The weather conditions are not suitable for him,” Flor Ortega, a 23-year-old fan, told CBS.

Benitos head stuck out through the top of the crate and he was covered by a tarp. “The giraffe has huge, huge eyes and gains height to be able to look for predators in the savannah and we have to inhibit that so that it does not have any source of stress,” Frank Carlos Camacho, the director of the Africam Safari Park said in the video. Camacho accompanied Benito on his journey

The crate contained water, straw, alfalfa, and electronic equipment that monitored his condition and also allowed technicians to speak to the animal. A convoy of vehicles accompanied Benito to his new home and there were health checks along the way.

Coming home
Benito arrived two days later. His new surroundings are a major change, reported AP. “He has been alone for a long time, and it is going to take us a few days to introduce him to the rest of the herd,” Camacho told AP. “But even so, we believe this is a very stable herd and that they will accept him.”

The giraffe will also have to get used to the foods that are native to the animal’s natural African habitat, like leaves from acacia trees.

“Benito is going to be introduced to foods that are new to him, which are the ones his cousins in Africa eat,” said Camacho. “Even though Benito is not familiar with them, he’s going to like them.”

At the safari park, the giraffes live in a large enclosure that resembles their natural habitat. Visitors travel through the park in all-terrain vehicles where they can observe the animals.

Camacho said that Benito’s life is starting over and he will learn how to be a giraffe in his new home.  “He will reproduce soon, and contribute to the conservation of this wonderful species,” Camacho added. Benito is finally home!

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.