The latest addition to the Albuquerque BioPark zoo is a male Reticulated Giraffe, born overnight July 16-17. The baby's mother, June, is very experienced with newborns, as this is her tenth calf.
Photo Credit: Albuquerque BioPark
June is 21 years old and has been at the ABQBioPark Zoo since 1998. Buccaneer, the father, has been at the zoo since 2006. This is their fourth calf together.
"The baby is doing great, and was up and moving very quickly," said Paul Huang, senior zoo keeper. "June is a very calm and casual mother, she's an old pro at this."
Giraffes are pregnant for about 15 months. After dropping six feet to the ground during the birth process, baby Giraffes typically stand within an hour of birth. They walk shortly thereafter and usually will hide for a few days before starting to follow their mother around.
June and Buccaneer are paired as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP). The SSP is a program developed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to help maintain a healthy and genetically diverse animal population within the zoo community.
As part of the plan, after about two years, the newest generation of Giraffes are often eventually located to other zoos. June has offspring all over the county, including San Francisco, Detroit and Topeka.
Once plentiful, wild Giraffe populations in Africa are rapidly declining. Of the nine subspecies of Giraffes, two are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Only about 1,100 Reticulated Giraffes remain in the wild.