Giraffe

L.A. Zoo Welcomes Lovely Masai Giraffe Calf

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The Los Angeles Zoo is happy to announce the birth of a female Masai Giraffe calf!  Born on May 15 to mother, Hasina, and father, Phillip, the currently unnamed calf weighed in at 176 pounds and stood at around six feet tall.

This is the nine-year-old mother’s fourth calf and the six-year-old father’s third offspring. Hasina and Phillip were paired together through a Species Survival Plan (SSP) program that breeds Masai Giraffes in order to ensure the survival of a species that is threatened in the wild.

“She is one of the largest calves we’ve had born at the L.A. Zoo since I started working here in 2005,” said Mike Bona, animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo. “It is great timing that she was born before World Giraffe Day [June 21]. Not only does her birth help continue the Zoo’s efforts in its giraffe breeding program, but it also gives us an opportunity to educate guests on giraffe conservation and the current threats that the species faces in the wild.”

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4_Female Giraffe Calf Photo by Jamie Pham 3Photo Credits: Los Angeles Zoo/Jamie Pham

Giraffes are the tallest land mammal, and Masai Giraffes can grow up to 17 feet tall and weigh 2,700 pounds. The largest of the nine subspecies of giraffe, Masai Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchii) are found in East Africa, namely southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Giraffes are currently categorized as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN. Their populations are under threat and declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation, illegal hunting, and disease.

Guests to the L.A. Zoo can visit the calf and her giraffe herd during Zoo hours, weather permitting. When observing the calf bonding with the herd, be sure to check out the Zoo’s giraffe feedings. This interactive experience allows guests to get up close and personal with the adult Masai Giraffes while feeding them their favorite greens and learning fun facts about the herd from Zoo education staff.

*Giraffe feedings take place twice daily from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and are $5 per person with paid Zoo admission. Tickets can be purchased (cash only) at the giraffe exhibit. Giraffe feedings are subject to weather-related changes, especially on rainy days.

More great pics, below the fold!

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200th Giraffe Calf Receives Special Care

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is caring for Penny, a Giraffe calf whose birth on June 4 marked the 200th Giraffe birth in the zoo’s history. Penny was found splayed the stall she shared with her mom, Muziki. Since then, the Zoo’s animal care and veterinary teams have been partnering to provide the best possible care to support the calf’s well-being.

“Splay” is a term used to describe when an animal’s legs go out from under them in an unnatural way. In Giraffe, splaying can result in moderate or even life-threatening damage to the hips and legs. The Zoo’s staff immediately assessed the condition of the calf and determined the most urgent medical need was to raise her blood sugar levels. When those levels were under control, Penny was reunited with Muziki to see if the calf would nurse and gain strength. When those nursing efforts were unsuccessful and the calf splayed again, the difficult decision was made to separate Penny from Muziki and begin hand-rearing protocols.

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Calf w mom 6.7.18 -  (2)Photo Credit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Although Penny can walk on her own, staff helps the baby stand up and lay down, to prevent further injury. The extent of any injuries to her legs and hips is still being evaluated, and likely will be for some time. Penny has thus far been resistant to bottle feeding, so she is receiving tube feedings. Another attempt to have her nurse from mom had mixed results, with the calf nursing for a brief time, but ultimately splaying again.

The Zoo’s care teams are well-equipped to treat the calf, and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has been recognized nationally for advances in veterinary medicine. However, the staff is not yet able to predict the outcome for Penny’s condition.



 


Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Celebrates 200th Giraffe

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is proud to announce the 200th successful Giraffe birth in the Colorado zoo’s history!

A female calf was born June 4 to a worldwide audience, as the birth was live streamed on YouTube and Facebook. The calf is the fifth offspring for 20-year-old mom, Muziki, and the fourth to be sired by dad, Khalid.

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4_CheyenneGiraffePhoto Credits: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

The calf was born at 8:20 p.m. and tried to stand up shortly after birth, which is normal for Giraffe calves. When the calf still had not been able to stand at about 10:30 p.m., the Zoo’s animal care and veterinary teams decided it was time to lend a hand. They were able to separate the calf from mom, Muziki, long enough to give it a quick veterinary check and help it to its feet. This was also when staff discovered the calf is female. The Zoo’s care team estimated her at 5’ 8” tall and approximately 120 pounds.

After the calf was observed standing and walking on her own for a few minutes, Muziki was allowed back into the birth stall. Since then, mother and baby have been bonding well and keepers report seeing the natural behaviors they would hope to see.

Because Muziki was also born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, she has grown up in the culture of voluntary husbandry training that the Zoo is known for. This means that she voluntarily participates in her own health care, which fosters a strong trust relationship between keeper and animal.

Through this training, the Zoo was able to draw blood, confirming Muziki’s pregnancy early on. The Zoo was able to get limited ultrasound images of the calf during the pregnancy, with Muziki’s cooperation, and they were even able to bank some of Muziki’s plasma, in case the calf had need of it after the birth.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is not only a leader in the training and health of Giraffes in human care, but they are also making a huge difference in their conservation in the wild. Since January 2017, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s guests and members have contributed $97,000 through “Quarters for Conservation” contributions to help the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and its programs to save Giraffes in the wild. The Zoo has also provided staff to Uganda for several of those conservation efforts.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is home to the world’s most prolific captive Reticulated Giraffe herd, with 200 births at the Zoo since 1954. The new calf joins the Zoo’s existing herd, or tower, of 17 Giraffes, bringing the total to 18. Guests can get up close and hand-feed them on special indoor and outdoor elevated platforms anytime during the day, 365 days a year.

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Newborn Baby Giraffe Stands Over Six Feet Tall

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The Milwaukee County Zoo is proud to announce that a Reticulated Giraffe was born on May 15. 

The female calf arrived in the early evening to mom Marlee. This marks the second offspring for Marlee and the fourth for Bahatika, the father. 

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Giraffe Baby 05-2018-7047 E
Giraffe Baby 05-2018-7047 EPhoto Credit: Milwaukee County Zoo

On May 16, veterinarians completed the calf’s first exam. The baby weighed 174 pounds and stood 6 feet, 1 inch tall.  Zookeepers and medical staff have been observing mother and baby closely.  Marlee appears very calm and attentive to the calf, who is nursing regularly.

The calf does not have a name yet.  Zookeepers who work with the newborn say they want to wait a while and learn more about her personality before choosing a name.

Six-year-old Marlee arrived at the Milwaukee County Zoo in 2013 from Zoo Miami.  Bahatika is 12 years old and arrived in 2006 from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

The zoo currently houses six Giraffe: adults Bahatika, Marlee, Ziggy, and Rahna; youngster Kazi; and the newborn.

Reticulated Giraffes are one of nine species and subspecies of Giraffe found in Africa. While widespread geographically, their numbers have decreased dramatically in recent decades, with only about 100,000 individuals remaining in the wild. Habitat loss, fragmentation, illegal hunting, and expanding human settlement contribute to the decline. Giraffes as a species are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with their status uplisted from Least Concern just over a year ago.

 


Zoo Miami Welcomes 52nd Giraffe Calf

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On the morning of March 28th, Zoo Miami welcomed their 52nd Giraffe calf! The Zoo also captured a series of amazing shots documenting the important event.

Ron Magill, Photographer/Communications Director at the Zoo, said, “In all my years of working with animals and witnessing births, I don’t think that there is any animal that can hold such a large baby in such a compact abdominal area! I am always amazed at the size of the baby that comes out of a Giraffe!”

Seven-year-old mom, Sabra, arrived at Zoo Miami from the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa in November of 2013. The new father, Titan, was born at Zoo Miami in June of 2012. This is Sabra’s third calf, as well as Titan’s third offspring (from different partners).

The new calf underwent a neonatal exam. The sex has not been officially confirmed, but the initial indications show it to be a male. Mother and calf will remain off-exhibit until the staff has determined they have bonded well and can be introduced to the rest of the herd.

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Giraffes have a pregnancy of approximately 15 months and the mother rarely, if ever, lies down while giving birth. The baby falls about 4-6 feet to the floor where it receives quite an impactful introduction to the world. Newborns usually weigh more than a hundred pounds at birth and stand nearly 6 feet tall.

The status of the Giraffe in the wild has recently been elevated from an IUCN classification of “Least Concern” to that of being “Vulnerable”, due to significant reductions in their populations over the last several years.  

(More incredible photos, below the fold!)

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Zoo Hosts Naming Contest for Giraffe Calf

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The Santa Barbara Zoo has a new Masai Giraffe calf. The female arrived on March 14, measuring 6’1” tall and weighing-in at 180 pounds. The Zoo reports that the calf and her mom, Audrey, will stay safely tucked away in the Giraffe Barn until animal care staff determines that she’s ready to venture out on exhibit.

In the mean time, the Santa Barbara Zoo has partnered with their local television station, KEYT NewsChannel 3,​ to host a naming contest for the female calf. Four names were pre-selected by the Hutton Parker Foundation and the Zoo’s giraffe team, but they are leaving the final decision up to the public. Visit the Zoo’s website to cast your vote: https://sbzoo.pivvit.com/name-audreys-giraffe-calf

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4_29386199_10155399660390509_368509362227904512_oPhoto Credits: Santa Barbara Zoo

The Masai Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) is the largest subspecies of giraffe and is native to East Africa, particularly central and southern Kenya and Tanzania.

The species is classified as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN, and the Masai Giraffe population is reported to have declined by 52% in recent decades, mainly due to poaching.

As an AZA-accredited institution, the Santa Barbara Zoo participates in what’s called the Species Survival Plan for Masai Giraffes – which makes every giraffe calf born at the Zoo exceptionally important. Through this cooperative program, the calves born all serve a significant role: to help keep their species alive. Thanks to their father, Michael, they all carry rare and valuable genes that are vital to keeping the Masai Giraffe population genetically diverse and healthy.


Sweet New Giraffe Calf Joins Lion Country Safari

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Lion Country Safari welcomed a new baby Giraffe on February 4!

The new calf arrived just before the safari closed for the evening, and guests visiting the park had a unique opportunity to witness the incredible birth from their vehicles in the final section of the preserve. A line of cars, with guests, watched as the 132-pound, 5.5-foot-tall female baby was born.

The calf has been named “Kimberlina”. Lion Country Safari’s wildlife team selected her unique name as homage to two special staff members described as, "exceptionally passionate and dedicated to giving [the] Giraffe extraordinary care." Kimberlina is also the name of a type of rose and keeps with the theme of her mother’s and grandmother’s names: Willow and Ayanna (flower), respectively.

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4_DSC_0019Photo Credits: Lion Country Safari (Image 5 = Dad, Cupid, with heart-shaped spot visible on neck)

Mom and baby can be observed spending some quiet bonding time in the maternity area. New dad, Cupid, was recently seen enjoying his own birthday celebration on February 14th. Identifiable by a heart-shaped spot on the right side of his neck, 13-year-old Cupid was observed enjoying special treats, or ‘enrichments’, in the Giraffe-feeding yard throughout the day on Valentine's Day.

Lion Country Safari is home to one of the largest herds, or ‘towers’, of Giraffe in the United States and is the only drive-through safari of its kind in the state of Florida.

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Giraffe Herd Grows by Four Hooves at Kansas City Zoo

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The Masai Giraffe herd at the Kansas City Zoo just grew by four hooves! At 4:57 a.m. on February 2, Giraffe Lizzie gave birth to a female calf.

At the calf’s neonatal exam, the veterinary team determined that the baby is in good health and bonding well with Lizzie. The newborn weighed 105 pounds and stands about five feet tall. 

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KCZoo Giraffe Calf 2Photo Credit: Kansas City Zoo

This baby, which has not yet been named, is the first to be born at the zoo since 2015.  The little girl’s parents are Lizzie, age 6, and eight-year-old Hamisi. Lizzie’s mother, Mahali, is part of the zoo’s herd, so the calf will soon meet her grandmother.  

It’s too cold outside for Lizzie and her baby, so they’ll remain behind the scenes until the weather warms up. In the meantime, fans can see Lizzie and the baby inside the Giraffe barn on the Giraffe Cam.

See more photos of the newborn calf below.

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Peoria Zoo Welcomes Female Giraffe Calf

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On January 7, the Peoria Zoo welcomed their newest Giraffe calf. Mom, Vivian, gave birth to a 5 foot 10 inch, 122 pound baby girl!

The Zoo endeavored to carefully document this latest Giraffe birth. Their goal was to not only celebrate the incredible birth, but to continue to improve husbandry techniques and share their birthing experience with other zoos around the world.

A camera was installed in Vivian's maternity holding stall to monitor and record the birth. Staff had been monitoring the camera, 24/7, for months in preparation of the birth. When the big moment finally came, the entire process was captured on video.

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Because Giraffes are threatened in their native habitat, every birth is important. The process gives zoologists, conservationists, and researchers the opportunity to study the species and their offspring, as well as educate and inspire zoo visitors.

In conjunction with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan (SSP), Peoria Zoo participates in cooperative breeding programs dedicated to building healthy, thriving Giraffe populations, with an emphasis on maintaining genetic diversity. Information gained through SSP husbandry and reproduction programs is used to promote meaningful initiatives meant to foster growth in wild giraffe populations.

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Jacksonville Zoo Welcomes Two Giraffes in One Week

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Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is delighted to welcome another new Reticulated Giraffe to the family. The healthy female was born November 24 and is the second Giraffe born in the span of a week!

Much to the amazement of Zoo guests, the latest calf was born on exhibit. Guests were able to see the delivery from the Giraffe Overlook.  

This calf is the fourth for mom, Luna, and an impressive 18th offspring for sire, Duke. The most recent addition marks the 41st Giraffe calf born at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens (JZG).

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4_guests watching John ReedPhoto Credits: JJ Vitale / John Reed / JZG (Images 1-5: Female born Nov. 24, with mom Luna and Auntie Spock ; Images 6-8: Male born Nov. 19, with mom Naomi)

According to staff, Luna was not in labor the morning of November 24, but keepers felt confident in her previous pregnancy and birth experiences. She was encouraged to roam freely and comfortably with the rest of the herd, and knowing she was near the end of her pregnancy, keepers were closely monitoring her throughout the day.

When the calf’s front hooves made an appearance around 12:30 p.m. that day, keepers called most of the herd off exhibit to give Luna space. Another female, Spock, stayed with Luna and gave her privacy for the birth. However, Spock was quick to greet the youngster and help the new mom with the cleaning process. Although Spock has never had any offspring of her own, she has been an excellent “auntie” figure to many calves over the years.

With excited guests cheering form the Overlook, the newborn calf was standing within 30-minutes of birth. Zookeepers observed the calf nursing well, and Luna and the calf will be allowed to stay on exhibit for as long as they are comfortable.

The male calf was born, just a few days prior, on November 19 to mom Naomi. Duke is also his father. A review of security cameras in the Giraffe exhibit show this calf was born at 5 a.m. on the 19th. Veterinary staff examined him late in the afternoon of his birth and measured him at 6’4” tall, with a weight of 191 pounds.

The new male, his mother Naomi, and auntie Spock will also join the new female and mom, Luna, on-exhibit. Both new calves are expected to be out with their herd, assuming the two mothers are comfortable with the situation.

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens supports the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, whose sole focus is on the conservation and management of Giraffes in the wild.

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