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.
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!)