Hogle Zoo

A Six-foot Bundle of Joy


Utah's Hogle Zoo is pleased to introduce a six-foot bundle of leggy joy:  A baby Giraffe named Willow was born on January 13.

Unnamed (1)
Unnamed (2)Photo Credit:  Utah's Hogle Zoo

The female calf hit the ground - literally – shortly after noon. Giraffes deliver their babies standing up, so their calves face a four-foot drop as they enter the world.  This fall helps to break the umbilical cord and stimulates the baby to breathe.   Willow’s mom, 13-year-old Pogo, immediately began licking and cleaning her baby, and Willow stood and nursed within an hour of her birth.

Keepers estimate that Willow stood about six feet tall and weighed about 125 pounds at birth. Willow is the 17th Giraffe born at the Hogle Zoo.

The other Giraffes in the zoo’s herd are very interested in the new baby.  Willow’s father, 12-year-old Riley, leans over the wall of a neighboring stall to sniff her.  The other female Giraffes, who act as “aunties,” lick and sniff the newcomer as well.

Wild Giraffes live only in Africa, where they inhabit grasslands and savannahs.  Until recently, Giraffe populations were thought to be stable, but scientists now know that their numbers have fallen dramatically in the last few decades.  As humans convert formerly wild lands to pastures and farms, wild animals have fewer places to live.  For large animals like Giraffes, loss of habitat is a significant threat to their survival.

It's a Girl! Leggy Baby Giraffe Born at Hogle Zoo

Gir CU

This female Reticulated Giraffe was born on September 23 at Hogle Zoo in Utah. The nearly six foot newborn was immediately cleaned up by mama, 9-year-old Kipenzi, and was standing up and attempting to nurse within the hour.
"It's very exciting to have any birth here, but especially Giraffes," said Animal Care Supervisor Jane Larson. "They're such large animals. It's so fascinating to see this long-legged creature come out of the giraffe's womb. We're thrilled!"

Mom and baby are doing well. They've been spending the last week bonding but are ready to greet zoo guests. As of October 3, both mom and baby are now on exhibit in their yard, along with two other Giraffes. Hogle Zoo has displayed Giraffes since 1969, and is proud of the history of 16 successful Giraffe births since then. 

Gir lick

Gir nose

Gir group

Photo Credit: Hogle Zoo


Tiny Tiger Triplets Say - "Roar!"

Born June 2nd, these critically endangered male Amur Tiger cubs are now on public display at Utah's Hogle Zoo. Mother Basha has been busily attending to the three playful little brothers and they have been growing steadily for the past three months. Amur Tigers are the largest of all cat species, reaching 11 feet and up to 650 lbs. in adulthood.

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Baby tiger cubs utahs hogle zoo 2

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A Healthy 251 lb Baby!

After 22 months of pregnancy, mother elephant Christie gave birth to a high-spirited female calf weighing in at 251 lbs or 114 kg at Utah's Hogle Zoo. According to the Zoo's Elephant Manager, Doug Tomkinson, the birth went remarkably quickly and easily. Part of the AZA's Species Survival Plan for African Elephants, this birth contributes to the sustainable population of this species in North America.

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Baby elephant calf hogle zoo 2

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Looking Fierce!

This "ferocious" young cub was born in May at Utah's Hogle Zoo but just recently debuted to the public. Critically endangered in their native home of the Himalayas and other Central Asian mountain ranges, snow leopards are bred at zoos across the country as part of the AZA's Species Survival Plan

Snow leopard cub hogle zoo

Looking less fierce
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Photo credits (bottom two pictures): Bill Warden

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