Saturday, November 2, 2019

October was a busy month for Egypt’s Giza Zoo : Animal death , Animal births and a fire

This is an attempt to post somehow cheerful stuff in Egyptian Chronicles once again or some ting light.

The month of October was a busy month in Giza zoo.
It started with the unfortunate news that Giza Zoon’s elephant star Naema died after decades of pleasing children and adults alike while in captivity.
The Zoo administration told the media that it was currently searching to acquire and import a new elephant from South East Asia or South Africa.
According to news reports, the price of the single elephant is LE 3 million.
I do not know but for the sake of animal rights, I hope they do not get an elephant.
I know some people won’t like this but elephants on the verge of extinction.
According to statistics, elephant numbers have dropped by 62% over the last decades and African elephants like late Naema are listed as vulnerable animals because of the ivory bloody trade while the Asian elephants are officially listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Now to more merrier news, October witnessed several animal births in the Zoo despite its modest resources.
I know it is in captivity but the midst of bad depressing political and economic news whether in Egypt or in the Middle East or in the world, the news of new animal births is like a fresh breeze of air
I love the photos of baby animals sticking to their mom in their first way.
Now in October, the Giza Zoo witnessed the birth of the following :
  • A Baby hippopotamus aka baby hippo aka baby Siyad Eshta

We do not know much about this little baby hippo except it is fine and was born in October. 

Giza Zoo' new baby hippo that was born in October
Giza Zoo' new baby hippo that was born in October 
In standard Arabic, we call hippopotamus “فرس النهر” in standard Arabic as a direct name to its name in ancient Greek. In Egypt, we call it “سيد قشطة” or “Mr. Cream” {Siyad Eshta}, it was the name of the first hippo in the Giza Zoo when it was inaugurated in the 19th century.

Since then, Siyad Eshat became the common name of hippos in Egypt.


Hippos used to live in Egypt besides the Nile river. Ancient Egyptians worshiped Taweret, the protective female hippo goddess of childbirth and fertility.

Turquoise Hippopotamus figurine
A blue Taweret statuette in the Egyptian Museum of Cairo

Despite the male hippos were feared and hated during then but their small blue statuettes were found in the ancient Egyptian tombs like the famous William whose brothers are still in Cairo’s Egyptian Museum.

Back to Giza Zoo and its animal births in October
  • A baby Greater Kudu aka baby Kudu

The Greater Kudu aka Kudu has got a new family member, again we do not much about its information or even its name.

Baby Kudu with the rest of the clan at Giza Zoo
Baby Kudu with the rest of the clan at Giza Zoo
The Kudu’s home is Eastern and Southern Africa.

  • A baby Arabian Oryx aka baby Maha

The Arabian Oryx family in the Zoo got a small calf and it is cute.
Baby Oryx aka Baby Maha 
We do not know much about it except it looks cute.
In Arabic Culture, the Arabian Oryx is known as the Maha.
It is famous for its beautiful eyes that in our culture that poets compare the eyes of their beloved muses in their beauty as the eyes of the Maha.
Maha is already a popular Arabic name in Egypt. Unfortunately, the Arabian Oryx is in vulnerable status because of hunting in Arabia.
  • Baby Hamadryas Baboon aka baby baboon

The Hamadryas Baboon Clan got a new tiny member who does not leave his mama’s side.
Again we know nothing about the newborn, even its name.
Baby Baboon with Mama baboon
Baby Baboon with Mama baboon
Hamadryas Baboon has been well known in Egypt since ancient times. Some ancient deities like Thoth were depicted as baboons and Babi, the chief Baboon was one of the deities of the underworld.

It is sad that the new animal birth in captivity in Giza Zoo does not catch the attention of the media like abroad.

We know only through the official Facebook page of the Zoo and honestly many people like this sort of news and ask the administration to give more information about the births, the type of the baby and its weight.
Also, they are asking the Zoo administration to let them name the little babies.
Already, I wonder if Cairo University’s Faculty of veterinary medicine is keeping an eye on the new animal births in Captivity.


On 30 October 2019, a small fire broke out in a bush fence in the Zoo. According to the official statement of the Giza Zoo, it was caused due to a short circuit problem but it was put off quickly. No animals or humans were harmed and the fire happened after the working hours.

It was thought to be a big fire because of the media coverage especially on Cairo 24 News website and its photos.

The news made many people worried because there is fear that the Giza Zoo would be sold to some Gulf investor to turn in to some huge cement residential development project or mall.
This fear comes from old troubling unconfirmed news reports that the Zoo will be transferred to 6 October city or that new administrative capital.

This is the reason I believe we should speak always about the Zoo and its activities as well as its importance as a Zoological and botanical garden.

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