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New Lioness & Giraffe Debut At The Maryland Zoo

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Christmas came early for the Maryland Zoo. Two young animals are now calling it home.

Christie Ileto has more on the zoo’s new addition.

You may spot two new faces the next time you visit the Maryland Zoo.

“I can see you Kesi!” said one kid to the zoo’s newest giraffe.

Two-year-old Kesi is one of the newest additions to the Maryland Zoo who is isn’t hard to miss. She even played a game of peak-a-boo Tuesday morning.

“She’s just by nature a more shy giraffe,” said the zoo’s area manager Erin Cantwell.

“Her first reaction is to be nervous about it. She is actually being a lot better than what she was,” she said.

While over at the Lion’s Den, “rah,” yelled Matthew Andrews.

Children had no trouble finding the African lioness named Badu.

The zoo welcomed the new additions earlier this year, but the pair are now officially making their debuts.

“Just in the last month or so we’ve been able to get her out on exhibit,” Cantwell said.

Staff say Badu is still acclimating to her new home, but was somewhat playful, even playing a staring game.

With a new lioness, giraffe, and this unseasonably warm weather this month, the zoo says they hope this will draw even more crowds to the park.

“On a random Monday in December we might get 50 to 75 people,” said Jane Ballentine.”With the fantastic weather we had Monday we had almost 400 people here!”

And zoo patrons agree, the recent weather is an added bonus.

“It’s strange for December absolutely,” said Laura Drury. “I got off work today, and I said ‘You know what? Let’s go to the zoo.’”

As for the new faces who call the zoo home, staff say they’re a welcome addition to the park and to the people who see them.

Staff says they’re hoping the new additions will help them increase both the giraffe and lion populations at the zoo.

The zoo says the public can see Kesi inside the Giraffe House daily, but Badu is part of an off-and-on exhibit until she gets accustomed to the other lions.

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