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.”
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.
More great pics, below the fold!