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Meet Willow the Rothschild Giraffe

Giraffe 1

Lion Country Safari of West Palm Beach, Florida, welcomed its second giraffe calf of the year. The baby, named Willow, was born overnight on March 22nd. The female calf was exceptionally tall at birth, standing 6-foot 3-inches tall and weighing 174 pounds. 

Willow and her mom, both Rothschild Giraffes, are separated from the herd in a maternity pen to allow bonding time. They will join the rest of the herd in about three months. 

Giraffe 2

Giraffe 3
Photo Credits: Lion Country Safari Park
Learn more after the fold.

Female giraffes reproduce year-round beginning at about four years of age. Their conception peak is usually during the summer rainy season and their gestation lasts approximately fifteen months. Giraffes give birth in a standing position, and the calves are born headfirst. Giraffe calves are born with little horns to protect their heads from the fall. 

Rothschild Giraffes, also known as Baringo Giraffes, are one of the largest subspecies of giraffe. Threatened by habitat loss and poaching, Rothschild Giraffes nearly meet the IUCN's ranking of critically endangered. They are found only in Kenya and Uganda. Participating in the American Zoo and Aquarium Association's (AZA) Species Survival Plan, a plan for the captive breeding of rare or endangered species, Lion Country Safari has seen over 65 giraffe births over the years. In fact, they are expecting the birth of a third giraffe  any day now!