There’s been a late summer baby boom at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, eliciting lots of “oohs and aahs” from visitors of all ages.
Among the new baby animals that can be seen at the Park, there’s a Greater One-horned Rhino calf, named Tio, who was born on July 9 to mom, Tanaya.
Also, a male Giraffe calf, named Kumi, was born August 6, and a handsome male African Elephant was born August 12 and has been named Umzula-zuli.
A young Scimitar Horned Oryx can be seen sticking close to his mom at the Park, and a one-month-old Grevy’s Zebra foal enjoys sunning with mom.
San Diego Safari Park visitors may see the baby animals and all the Safari Park has to offer from an African Tram Safari, a Caravan Safari or private Cart Safari.
Photo Credits: Ken Bohn/ San Diego Zoo Global
Since 1969, more than 37,600 animals have been born at the Safari Park, including 23,000 mammals, 12,800 birds, 1,500 amphibians and 40 reptiles. The Safari Park’s successful breeding programs help conserve numerous species, many of which are threatened or endangered, like the Scimitar Horned Oryx.
A baby Masai Giraffe at the Phoenix Zoo now has a name! The female calf was named Rafiki after nearly 16,000 people participated in an online naming poll.
Rafiki was born on June 26 to mom Imara and dad Miguu. Under Imara’s attentive care, the calf is healthy and strong. The name Rafiki is a Swahili word meaning ‘friend.’
Photo Credit: Phoenix Zoo
The staff is gradually introducing Rafiki to other members of the zoo’s Giraffe herd. For now, Rafiki and Imara spend most of their time behind the scenes in the Giraffe barn, but they’ll soon be moving onto the savanna habitat.
Seven-year-old Imara arrived at the Phoenix Zoo in 2012 as recommended by the Masai Giraffe Species Survival Plan to breed with nine-year-old male Miguu. He came to Phoenix in 2010 from the Los Angeles Zoo.
Masai Giraffes are one of four species and five subspecies of Giraffes, all found in Africa. Only about 100,000 individuals are estimated to remain in the wild across the continent. Habitat loss, which occurs as wild places are degraded or converted for human use, is the main factor influencing Giraffes’ decline. The species as a whole is listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
The Tulsa Zoo is proud of its latest addition, a Giraffe calf born on July 22. Mom, Lexi, and dad, Hekaya, welcomed the healthy male calf.
“The calf was active immediately, and within two hours stood and began nursing, all of which are excellent signs in such a short time period," says Zoological Curator-Mammals, Jordan Piha.
“The labor, birth and hours that followed were monitored by animal care and health staff”, Piha shared. “Keepers remained on-grounds overnight to monitor the new mother and calf, a standard practice with mammal births at the zoo.”
Photo Credits: Associate Veterinarian Dr. Jen Kilburn, DVM / Tulsa Zoo
The Tulsa Zoo first announced the pregnancy on World Giraffe Day, June 21. At that time, the Zoo also announced completion of a million-dollar Giraffe barn renovation. The Osage Casino Hotel Giraffe Barn provides more than double the indoor space, improved facilities for staff to manage a multigenerational herd, and year-round viewing for guests.
The Tulsa Zoo temporarily closed access to the barn’s new public viewing area to give Lexi and her calf privacy for bonding. Hekaya and herd mate, Pili, a nine-year-old female, will be able to examine the new calf from the main yard. This temporary separation allows time for the calf to grow and learn to maneuver a smaller space before moving to the larger habitat with the adults, Piha says.
The young calf was recently given the name Ohe (pronounced o-He), which means, "to win". The Zoo also recently reported that their little “winner”, Ohe, is happily exploring his new world, letting the herd groom him through the fence line.
The Wilds is proud to announce the birth of a male Masai Giraffe calf on July 10. Guests taking an Open-Air Safari Tour witnessed the birth in the open pasture at The Wilds, creating an unforgettable experience. So far, the calf appears strong and healthy, staying close to his mother. The Giraffe care team monitors mom and baby as they make their daily rounds.
Photo Credit: Grahm S. Jones/Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
The calf’s father, Raha, was born at the Los Angeles Zoo in April 2006, and the calf’s mother, Lulu, was born at Cincinnati Zoo in October 2012. This calf is Lulu’s first, and he was born after a gestation period of about 15 months. Like all Giraffe births, Lulu delivered her calf while standing up. Within a few hours of his birth, the calf stood, nursed, and began walking.
The breeding of Raha and Lulu was based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a program designed to increase the genetic health and diversity of threatened and endangered species in human care.
“Welcoming a Giraffe calf to our herd is always an incredibly exciting time for our team,” said The Wilds Vice President Dr. Jan Ramer. “Not only is this birth a milestone here at The Wilds, but it also gives us great hope and a foothold to sustain declining populations of this species in their native ranges.”
Giraffes are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, due to habitat degradation and poaching. In an effort to reduce threats to Giraffes, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and The Wilds support several conservation projects in Giraffe range countries across Africa, including the Serengeti Giraffe Project based in Tanzania, the Giraffe Research and Conservation Trust in Kenya, and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in Namibia and Uganda.
Male Giraffes can grow to be 18 feet tall at their horn tips and weigh between 1,800 and 4,300 lbs. Females are 13 to 15 feet tall and weigh between 1,200 and 2,600 lbs. Giraffes are the tallest of all extant land-living animals and are the largest ruminants. Their nativeranges are savannas, grasslands or open woodlands in central and southern African countries.
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.”
Photo 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.
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.
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 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.
Photo 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.
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.
Photo 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.
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.
Photo Credits: Zoo Miami/ Ron Magill
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.
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
Photo 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.