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What's New at the Houston Zoo? This Masai Giraffe Calf!


The Houston Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a ­­male Masai Giraffe. Mom Tyra delivered the healthy baby shortly before 8 p.m. on July 14 following a 14 month pregnancy. This is 14-year-old Tyra’s seventh calf. The proud first time father, Mtembei is 5 years old. 

“Tyra went into labor at approximately 4:50 p.m. on July 14 and delivered her baby boy at 7:48 p.m.,” said Houston Zoo Hoofed Stock Supervisor John Register. The calf was standing on his own and nursing by 8:27 p.m. John added, “The calf weighs about 160 pounds (73 kilos), and is over 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall. He’s a strong healthy baby."  

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.  With this new arrival, the Houston Zoo’s herd of Masai Giraffe has grown to 8, including 5 males and 3 females.

The Houston Zoo is holding an online naming contest for the newest addition to the giraffe herd.  Visit the Zoo online at to cast your vote for your favorite choice from the list of names chosen by the Zoo’s giraffe keepers.



Mom and dad

Photo Credits: Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo