Giraffe

Giraffe Mom and Calf Bond at Nashville Zoo

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Nashville Zoo in Tennessee has announced the birth of a female Masai giraffe. The calf was born in the early morning hours of December 13, weighing 180 pounds (81.65 kg) and standing 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) tall. She and mom Margarita are doing well in the zoo’s Giraffe barn. 

“We’ve been tracking Margarita’s pregnancy for about a year and estimated her due date to be in early December,” said Kate Cortelyou, lead Giraffe keeper. “I arrived at the Giraffe barn around 7:30 a.m. [on Dec. 13] to find a dry, healthy, standing baby Giraffe, which is the perfect way to find them. We are so thrilled about the latest addition to our herd.”

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Photo credit: Nashville Zoo / Amiee Stubbs

This is nine-year-old Margarita’s third calf. Her first was born in 2010, and the second, a female named Camilla, was born in 2012 and recently left Nashville to join her permanent herd at the Columbus Zoo. With the addition of the calf, Nashville Zoo is home to two subspecies: three Masai Giraffe and one Reticulated Giraffe. Zoo officials will carefully monitor the baby’s development inside the Giraffe barn for the next two months. After that, keepers will make a decision on her public debut depending on climatic conditions. 

Masai Giraffe are one of nine different sub-species and are known for their oak-leaf shaped spot pattern. They are native to the savannas of Kenya and Tanzania.


It's a Girl! Whipsnade Zoo Welcomes a Giraffe Calf

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At just four weeks old, the newest arrival of the Zoological Society of London's Whipsnade Zoo is already standing tall – at almost six feet (1.83 m)!

The Reticulated Giraffe, a baby girl, was born to proud parents Savannah and Uno on November 13. Thrilled zookeepers arrived just in time to see the calf take her first wobbly steps an hour after birth, and start to suckle soon after that.

Zookeeper Cassie Taylor said, “Savannah was born at Whipsnade 12 years ago, so it’s fantastic to see her as a mum herself now, and even more special that we were able to see the calf’s very first moments.

“It’s Savannah’s third calf and she’s  taken motherhood all in her rather long stride – the new arrival is settling in well, and is already showing signs of mum’s calm nature as well as dad’s inquisitiveness.”

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6 giraffePhoto credit: Whipsnade Zoo

The calf, who will be named by zoo visitors, has spent the first few weeks getting to grips with her long legs as she explores her new home – the zoo’s brand new Giraffe Heights enclosure. Unveiled in October, it includes a revamped barn to keep the new arrival extra warm and snug, and a nine-foot-high viewing platform which brings visitors face-to-face with Whipsnade’s Giraffes.

Over the next few weeks, the calf will slowly be introduced to the rest of the herd, including half-brother Jengo, aged one, and aunties, Ijuma and Ina. 

Whipsnade Zoo’s new arrival is an important part of the European Endangered Species Programme for Reticulated Giraffes. In the wild, Reticulated Giraffes are confined to north-eastern Kenya, eastern Sudan and Eritrea and it is thought there could be less than 5,000 left due to poaching and habitat degradation. 

See and learn more after the fold!

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Giraffe Calf is a Record-Setter at Zoo Praha

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Kleopatra the Giraffe has tied a record at the Czech Republic’s Zoo Praha:  she delivered her 11th calf on the evening of October 9.

Zoo Praha has an impressive history of breeding these gentle giants:  The female calf is the 79th Giraffe calf to be born at the zoo.

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Photo Credit: Tomáš Adamec, Zoo Praha

According to the zoo staff, the baby stood soon after the delivery, which is an important milestone in the development of a newborn calf.  Giraffe calves typically stand within an hour of birth, and they nurse shortly afterward.  This survival skill is important to a calf born on the African savannah.  If they can’t follow the herd, they could fall prey to hungry lions or hyenas. 

After the exertion of learning to stand, calves often curl up and rest, with mom standing watch close by. 

 

Giraffe Calf Meets the Family at Oklahoma City Zoo

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The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is celebrating a special fall delivery—a female giraffe born on September 26! The newborn is the sister of Sergeant Peppers, a male giraffe born in January 2012 to zoo favorites Ellie and Bogy.  Another sister, Keyara, was born at the Zoo in January 2010. The new arrival, who already stands six feet tall, will be named by her caregivers. The calf is pictured above with her brother, during her first day outside on October 1, as mom Ellie looks on. 

“Both mom and calf are doing well,” said Jaimee Flinchbaugh, the zoo's hoofstock supervisor. “Ellie is a doting mom and her calf is full of energy, personality and spunk.”

Average gestation for a Giraffe calf is approximately 15 months. Giraffes give birth while standing and unlike humans, the calf is born hooves-first. The calf then proceeds to stand, usually within one hour after birth. In the wild, it is important for a newborn Giraffe to be able to stand quickly to elude predators. 

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6 giraffePhoto credits: Jaimee Flinchbaugh / Oklahoma City Zoo

Depending on weather conditions, zoo guests may be able to see the calf mid- morning through early afternoon hours. The zoo’s twice-a-day public Giraffe feeding opportunities will continue, weather permitting. However, mom Ellie will not be participating until her caregivers believe she is comfortable with the feeding platform area and crowds.


Baby Giraffe Gets a Super-Sized Smooch at Zoo Budapest

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Sempala the Rothschild’s Giraffe calf has been getting plenty of super-sized kisses from her mother since she was born on August 13 at the Budapest Zoo.  The spindly female calf is already a fan favorite and seems to have a penchant for making funny faces for the camera!

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Photo Credit:  Budapest Zoo

Zoo keepers chose a Ugandan name for Sempala because Rothschild’s Giraffes are found in that African country, as well as in Kenya.  Rothschild’s giraffes are among the rarest of the nine Giraffe subspecies roaming Africa.  Only about 700 remain in the wild.  They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

See more photos of Sempala below the fold.

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Giraffe Calf Enters The World With Keepers' Assistance

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On July 7, Sao Paulo Zoo welcomed a baby that was over six feet (1.85 meters) tall: a giraffe, of course! The calf is a healthy male, born to parents Mel ('Honey') and Palito ('Stick'). The delivery started around midnight, when security staff noticed and called in the vets, biologists and keepers. Because the mother was having difficulties in delivering, the vets decided to assist by tying a rope to Mel's front legs and pulling. 

Giraffe Keeper, Laurindo, who has worked at Sao Paulo Zoo for 33 years, says he has never seen such a strong and healthy baby giraffe. Within his first two weeks, the calf was already looking for things to eat, and hopping and kicking with energy. The zoo has a tradition in breeding this species: this is their 24th giraffe born since their first in 1977.

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Photo Credits: Sao Paul Zoo / Carlos Nader (1, 2, 4 through 10); Juliana Tolentino (3)

See a video of the calf below:

 

See and read more after the fold!

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The zoo and a major weekly magazine in Brazil promoted a public vote to choose his name based on ten names that were chosen by the zoo staff. The calf is now called Girafales, the name of a character in a Mexican TV show that is very famous in Brazil, and alludes back to the species name.


Seattle's Tallest Baby Born at Woodland Park Zoo

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Few species can boast a 6-foot tall week-old infant, but the Rothschild's Giraffe is certainly one of them! Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo welcomed the addition of a towering Rothschild's Giraffe calf on the evening of August 6. Born to first time mom Olivia, the calf was already 5 and a half feet tall at birth. The calf, who is male, can expect to grow to between 16-18 feet by the time he reaches adulthood.

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The calf and its mother are off view in a barn to allow a quet environment for maternal bonding and nursing. Giraffe's have a 14- to 15- month gestation period, which allows for calves to grown so large in size. Mom's give birth standing up, and calves are typically able to stand within a few hours of birth.. “The first 24 to 72 hours are critical for giraffe calves,” said zoo curator Martin Ramirez. “So far, mother and calf are bonding and nursing sessions appear to be normal. We will continue to keep a close eye on the new family over the next several weeks.”

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Olivia and the calf's father, Chioke, were paired under a breeding recommendation made by the Giraffe Species Survival Plan, which ensures genetic diversity and demographic stability in North American zoos. The natural population of giraffes has declined by more thant 40% over the past 15 years. Among the 9 subspecies of Giraffes, West African and Rothschild's are endangered. Fewer than 670 individuals of Rothschild's Giraffes remain in the wild.

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Welcomes 198th Giraffe Calf

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado welcomed the latest addition to their Reticulated Giraffe herd, a female calf born Thursday morning, August 1. The calf is four-year-old Msitu’s (pronounced mi-see-TOO) first offspring and is the second calf to be sired by the Zoo’s five-year-old bull giraffe, Khalid (pronounced cull-EED). Mother and newborn are doing well. Following Cheyenne Mountain Zoo tradition, the calf will be named after she is 30 days old.

“Watching a giraffe birth is amazing and startling all at the same time,” says Amy Schilz, lead animal keeper for giraffes and lions. “Giraffes give birth standing up, so their baby enters the world with a six foot fall to the ground. They need that fall to stimulate them to start breathing, but it still makes you hold your breath when they drop.”

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Photo credits: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

See and read more after the fold!

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A Speedy Giraffe Delivery at Auckland Zoo

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Auckland Zoo is celebrating the arrival of its 31st giraffe calf:  a 5.5 foot (1.7 m) female, delivered in record time to 12-year-old giraffe mum, Rukiya. The fifth offspring for Rukiya and 13-year-old dad Zabulu was born at 11:10 am on August 3, following a labour of less than three hours - Rukiya's fastest delivery to date.

The yet-to-named calf was standing within half an hour, with experienced mum Rukiya taking it all in her stride as she demonstrated her exceptional mothering skills. This included having her newborn successfully suckle from her the minute it could stand, something keeping staff have not seen at any other giraffe birth.

"Rukiya really took us by surprise this time. She was incredibly relaxed the day before the birth and right up until she started going into labour, and gave us none of the usual and obvious signs she was ready for action.  She also stayed amazingly calm throughout the labour - which was significantly shorter than her others and by far the easiest and most relaxed," says Pridelands keeper, Kathryn McKee, who has been present for all five of Rukiya's births.

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Photo credits: Kathrin Simon / Auckland Zoo

Watch a video of the birth below:

 

See the rest of the story after the fold.

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Help Name Disney's Giraffe Calf

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Photo Credit:  Disney's Animal Kingdom

A male Masai Giraffe calf born earlier this month at Disney's Animal Kingdom needs a name!  The park invites everyone to vote through July 31 and help the staff choose a name for the baby, which is the first Masai Giraffe calf born at the park.

Masai Giraffes are unique among the nine subspecies of Giraffe found in Africa.  The dark brown patches on Masai Giraffes’ coats have jagged edges.  About 40,000 Masai Giraffes live in Kenya and Tanzania.  Giraffes are threatened by habitat loss and habitat fragmentation as human populations encroach on their native range. 

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund supports conservation programs around the world, including efforts to reintroduce endangered Rothschild’s Giraffes into Kenya.