A male Masai Giraffe calf born at the Houston Zoo on February 4 was standing and nursing just over an hour after his birth – all signs that point to a healthy and strong baby.
Photo Credit: Houston Zoo
The calf was born to female Giraffe Tyra after a 14-month gestation. “Tyra went into labor at approximately 10:45 AM on Tuesday, February 4 and delivered her baby boy at 12:49 PM,” said Houston Zoo Giraffe Senior Keeper Kim Siegl. “The calf was standing on his own by 1:17 PM and was nursing by 1:57 PM.”
As soon as Tyra gave birth, she began grooming her calf while he was lying down. Once the calf was on his feet, Tyra was even more attentive. The rest of the Giraffe herd stood by, watching as mother and calf got to know each other.
“The calf weighs 165 pounds and is six and a half feet tall. He’s a big healthy boy,” said Siegl. This is the eighth calf for 15-year-old Tyra. The calf’s father, Mtembei, is six years old. With this new arrival, the Houston Zoo’s herd of Masai Giraffe has grown to nine.
The Giraffe keepers who cared for Tyra during her pregnancy and were present for the birth will have the honor of naming the newest addition to the Houston Zoo’s Giraffe herd.
About 100 Masai Giraffes currently live in 28 North American zoos. The tallest living land animal, Giraffes can stand up to 17 feet tall and weigh more than 3,000 pounds.