MEET XENA JUNE: Caldwell Zoo releases name of newest giraffe


TYLER, Texas (KETK) Welcome the newest member of the Caldwell Zoo family: Xena June!

Xena June is the baby giraffe born back in early June. Already debuted to the public, the zoo asked for the public’s input on naming the reticulated giraffe, which is an endangered species whose population in the wild has declined by 50% just in the last 30 years.

They had more than 1,200 submissions from the public.

She had some struggles early on in her life. Just a few hours after her birth, she appeared to be doing fine, but not for long.

A physical revealed the littlest giraffe was low on the proteins and antibodies she needed to live. She was lethargic, wouldn’t nurse, and generally not thriving.

The first order of business was a plasma transfusion, with plasma from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, another zoo working to preserve the species. That seemed to work – at first. But the improvement was only temporary, and the little one again began to decline.

To help preserve the species, Caldwell Zoo has embarked on a program to breed the species and is one of many zoos across the nation working together in a network to preserve the genetic diversity needed for the species to survive.


Back in August of 2018, the Caldwell Zoo announced the birth of another baby giraffe.

Lulu is also a reticulated giraffe, and was born to Cricket, an eight-year-old giraffe that came from the Denver Zoo back in 2011.


Back in January of 2018, Duncan the penguin joined the Caldwell Zoo family. He was the first African Penguin to ever be hatched here.

“Duncan is pretty special because African Penguins in the wild are considered and endangered species. So to have a viable population a good population in north american zoos is very important for sustainability in the future of that wild population.

nikki hartman, supervisor of bird department

Duncan is a part of a national program that monitor’s the population of endangered species throughout the world.


Back in January of 2014, the zoo added four new members to the family: African lion cubs.

There were three females and one male. They named the male “Doc” after the zoo’s late veterinarian Doctor Steve Wilson.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Right Now

Don't Miss

Community Calendar

KETK Twitter & Facebook

FOX51 Twitter & Facebook