Yesterday, Zoo Miami's newest baby giraffe made his exhibit debut!
For the first time, a yet unnamed male calf that was born on April 2nd, walked out onto the exhibit with his mother and other members of the herd, curiously exploring his new surroundings. Until yesterday, the newborn had been held inside a holding area with his mother to give them time to bond.
On Sunday, the calf received a neonatal exam where in addition to a general physical, he was weighed, had his blood collected and received a microchip for identification. He weighed a whopping 181 pounds and is the seventh baby born to Mia, his 14 year old mother. The first-time father is a 4 year old named Malcolm. This is the 54th giraffe born in the zoo's history!
As this newborn was making his exhibit debut, Zuri, a 6 ½ year old female was giving birth behind the scenes to the 55th giraffe born in the zoo’s history! The baby, Zuri’s second, was born yesterday at approximately 10:30AM, and has been observed nursing very well. Malcolm is also the father making this his second calf. A neonatal exam was performed this morning and it is confirmed to be a healthy female weighing 119 pounds. Should everything continue to go well, this baby and mother will join the herd on exhibit tomorrow.
Giraffe 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 abrupt introduction to the world! Newborns stand nearly 6 feet tall at birth.
The status of giraffe in the wild has recently been elevated from a “species of least concern” to “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to significant reductions in their populations over the last several years.