San Francisco Zoo welcomed a healthy female Reticulated Giraffe calf early in the morning of May 22nd. At birth, the calf was 130 pounds and 5’10” tall. Animal keepers report that the new calf has had positive interaction with the adult giraffe group and “has a lot of spunk.”
The calf's mother Kristin, an 11-year old Giraffe born at Busch Gardens in Tampa, has already given birth to three other calves. During this pregnancy the Zoo completed its first successful awake ultrasounds, which enabled animal staff to monitor the health of the fetus. “We are very excited about this birth,” said Jim Nappi, Curator of Hoofstock and Marsupials at the San Francisco Zoo. “Giraffes add a special majesty to our multi-species African Savanna exhibit. Their successful breeding means that our Zoo-wide Wellness Initiative is working as it should be; and when the animals are thriving, we are happy.”
Growing up to 18 feet tall, Giraffes are the tallest living land mammals. Males weigh up to 4,000 pounds with females weighing up to 2,600 pounds. The Reticulated Giraffe is characterized by its distinct "reticulated" grid-like pattern of narrow white lines and dark brown coloring. They are found throughout various regions of Africa.