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

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!

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


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.


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.”


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

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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

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. 

Giraffe Calf Stands Tall at Knuthenborg Park


In the late hours of June 27th, Knuthenborg Park in Denmark welcomed a new female Giraffe calf, named Damisi. Damisi was born to mother Dora and father Timon, who also have a second two-year-old calf.


Damisi's birth was no small feat. During 5 long hours of calving, park staff worried that Dora would need assistance in birthing Damisi. The keepers try not to interfere with births whenever possible. Luckily, Dora pulled through and was able to deliver the calf naturally. 


Since Giraffes spend 14 months in the womb, newborns are often around 6 feet tall. Though this may seem large for most species (especially humans!), calves are still about a third the size of adults.




Photo credit: Knuthenborg Park

Two Giraffes Born in One Week at Zoo Praha

Male by Tomas Adamec (1)

Two Rothschild’s Giraffe calves were born in a single week at the Czech Republic’s Zoo Praha.  Nora delivered a male calf on June 30, and Elizabeth gave birth to a female calf, named Amelia, on July 7.  The two are the 77th and 78th giraffes born at Zoo Praha.  Both calves were sired by bull Giraffe Johan.

Male by Tomas Adamec (2)

Male by Tomas Adamec (3)

Female by Martin PEkarek, Flash (3)
Photo Credits: Tomáš Adamec, Prague Zoo (male calf 1, 2, 3); Martin Pekarak, Flash (female calf 4, 5, 6, 7)

Nora is a calm and experienced mother and is taking excellent care of her energetic calf.  Zoo keepers describe the calf as extremely confident.

Little Amelia is the seventh calf for Elizabeth.  According to zoo keepers, the birth went quickly and Elizabeth immediately began cleaning her baby and tried to help her stand.  They say that Amelia is calm and curious like her mother.

Rothschild’s Giraffes are one of the most endangered of the nine Giraffe subspecies, with only a few hundred individuals remaining in the wilds of Kenya and Uganda. 

See more photos below the fold.

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It's a Boy! Second Giraffe Calf in Eight Months Born at Brookfield Zoo

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Jasiri, a 7½-year-old Giraffe at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo, gave birth to a male calf on June 21. The first-time mom had the baby outside in an off-exhibit area. Soon after being born, the 173-pound, 5-foot-9-inch-tall calf stood, and was nursing not long after that. This calf is the 59th Giraffe born at Brookfield Zoo. Following a 14½-month gestation period, mother Giraffes give birth while standing. When fully grown, the new calf can potentially reach 18 feet tall.

Giraffe numbers have declined by 40 percent in the last decade, and there are now fewer than 80,000 individuals in Africa. There are fewer than 5,000 Reticulated Giraffes left in East Africa. Additionally, of the nine subspecies of Giraffes in Africa, two—the West African Giraffe and the Rothschild’s Giraffe—are classified as endangered, with less than 250 and 670 individuals, respectively, remaining in the wild. The populations are declining due to a number of factors, including habitat loss and fragmentation, coupled with human population growth and illegal hunting.

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Photo Credit: Brookfield Zoo


Read and see more pictures after the fold:

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