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The Houston Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a female Masai Giraffe, the first birth in The African Forest, the Zoo’s newest addition which opened on December 10, 2010.  Mom Tyra delivered the healthy female calf shortly after 5 p.m. on March 4 at the McGovern Giraffe Exhibit at The African Forest following a 14 month pregnancy. “The calf weighs 150 pounds and is 6 foot 6 inches tall. She’s a strong healthy baby,” said Houston Zoo Hoofed Stock Supervisor Laurie McGivern. This is 12 year old Tyra’s sixth calf.  Kiva, the father is 15 years old.  With this new arrival, the Houston Zoo’s herd of Masai giraffe has grown to 8, including 5 males and 3 females.


reciprocal giraffe kisses...


Photo credits: Stephanie Adams / Houston Zoo

“Tyra went into labor at approximately 3:15 p.m. yesterday and delivered her baby 5:15 p.m.,” said McGivern. The as yet unnamed calf was standing on her own and nursing by 6:15 p.m.
While Masai giraffes are not threatened or endangered in their native habitat, there are 92 Masai giraffes living in 24 North American zoos. Giraffes are the tallest living terrestrial animal.  The average male is about 17 feet tall and can weigh 3,000 pounds, while an average female is over 14 feet tall.  On average, Masai giraffes weigh between 125 and 150 pounds at birth and stand approximately 6 feet tall.