Maternal affection and contact is essential for newborn mammals to thrive. While many of the young animals featured on ZooBorns are orphans and keepers must step in, many more have doting natural mothers like baby giraffe calf "Margaret Abigail," photographed earlier this week with mom at the Bronx Zoo.
When mom's lucky, sis and grandma help out (pictured below)
Photo Credits: Julie Larsen Maher @ WCS
WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY’S BRONX ZOO:
ANNOUNCES DEBUT OF BABY GIRAFFE
Mother’s Day Baby Boom at the Bronx Zoo
Bronx, NY – May 6, 2009 -- The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is thrilled to announce the public debut of a baby giraffe – who is proving to have a very active and playful personality.
The calf, named Margaret Abigail, can be seen at the Bronx Zoo’s African Plains exhibit. She lives in a herd of five other females, and one male. The calf’s parents are a young adult cow, Margaret Sukari, and an adult bull named James Michael.
“We are pleased to be debuting several notable baby animals, making the Bronx Zoo a very special place to visit this spring,” said Jim Breheny, Director of WCS’s Bronx Zoo. “Our zoo visitors can expect a few more baby births in the coming weeks.”
Margaret Abigail was born February 17, 2008 and weighed between 100 and 150 pounds. She measured approximately about five-and-a-half to six feet tall.
The average giraffe can grow to more than 16 feet from the ground to the top of its horns. Adult giraffes average about 1,800 pounds, but especially large males can way as much as 4,000 pounds.
Margaret Abigail’s birth is the result of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s breeding program; the zoo’s last giraffe calf birth was approximately two-and-a-half years ago.
Giraffes live in grasslands and open woodlands across much of sub-Saharan Africa. Their African Plains habitat at WCS’ Bronx Zoo, recreates that savanna. The African Plains exhibit opened in 1941, as one of the nation’s first open range, multispecies habitats.