The eldest female Masai giraffe at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has a new calf to raise. Lindi, 26, gave birth on July 11 in the giraffe barn to a male calf named Trevor. Trevor is the first successful offspring for father, Travis, 4, who came to Cleveland in 2008 from the San Diego Zoo.
“Mom and baby are doing relatively well,” said Andi Kornak, the Zoo’s Curator of Carnivores and Large Mammals. “He was standing and moving around in an appropriate amount of time and was nursing within a few hours.”
Giraffes give birth standing up, so newborns get an abrupt introduction to the world by dropping up to 6 feet to the ground. They are about 6-feet tall when they are born and weigh between 100 to 150 pounds. The calf joins the other giraffes in the African Savanna exhibit, Jada, 4, Grace, almost 3, Shirley, 5, and Jhasmin, 5. Keepers will give mom and baby time to bond and hope they can join the other giraffes in the herd on exhibit shortly in the Zoo’s African Savanna.
Soon after his birth, the Zoo’s Animal Care and Veterinary Services staff noticed that Trevor had an umbilical hernia that may require surgery to repair. He is being closely monitored to make sure his condition doesn’t worsen, but the decision to perform surgery has not yet been made.
This is Lindi’s eighth baby. She has lived at the Zoo since 1985. Her first three offspring, all males, were sired by Bert, who passed away at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 1993. Her next four, all females, were sired by Walker, who now lives at the Louisville Zoo.
Giraffes are native to the savannas of Africa south of the Sahara Desert. Masai giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) are found in Kenya and Tanzania, near the Masai Mara National Reserve. Giraffes are the tallest mammals, with males capable of reaching heights up to 18 feet tall. Giraffes can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. They have long, prehensile bluish-purple tongues, which they use to strip the leaves from tree branches in the wild. Giraffes typically live 15-20 years in the wild and a few years longer in captivity.