Jasiri, a 7½-year-old Giraffe at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo, gave birth to a male calf on June 21. The first-time mom had the baby outside in an off-exhibit area. Soon after being born, the 173-pound, 5-foot-9-inch-tall calf stood, and was nursing not long after that. This calf is the 59th Giraffe born at Brookfield Zoo. Following a 14½-month gestation period, mother Giraffes give birth while standing. When fully grown, the new calf can potentially reach 18 feet tall.
Giraffe numbers have declined by 40 percent in the last decade, and there are now fewer than 80,000 individuals in Africa. There are fewer than 5,000 Reticulated Giraffes left in East Africa. Additionally, of the nine subspecies of Giraffes in Africa, two—the West African Giraffe and the Rothschild’s Giraffe—are classified as endangered, with less than 250 and 670 individuals, respectively, remaining in the wild. The populations are declining due to a number of factors, including habitat loss and fragmentation, coupled with human population growth and illegal hunting.
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The sire, Hasani, age 4, arrived at Brookfield in 2010 on a breeding loan from Lee Richardson Zoo in Kansas. He is also the father of Dave, a nearly 8-month-old calf born in November 2012. In addition to Dave and Hasani, other members of Brookfield Zoo’s Giraffe herd that can be seen on exhibit with Jasiri and her calf are Mithra, 22; Franny, 21; and Arnieta, 5.