Baby Giraffe Kicks Up Its Heels at Tel Aviv Zoo

Mom & baby

On November 13 a baby giraffe was born at the Zoological Center Tel Aviv Ramat Gan-SafariThe new addition to the reticulated giraffe family is named Dolittle because of the dramatic way he was born.

Once labor started, the mother started pushing the baby out legs and head first in the usual "Para diving" position. This is where both front hooves come out first, followed by the head and shoulders. However, soon the keepers noticed that the labor did not progress as expected and that the calf was stuck in the birth canal with only its head and front limbs showing. Dr. Horowitz, the zoo's vetrenarian, rushed to the giraffe barn and decided to help the mom by gently pulling the calf. Every time the mother pushed, the vet pulled... hence the name Do-little!

Because the mom was trained to stand in a chute it was possible for the vet  to intervene without danger of being kicked. After a few stressful moments, the calf landed on the ground, and soon stood up!





Photo Credits: Tibor Jager

Little Dolittle stayed for a few days in the night stall with this mother and grandmother and now everyone can see him roaming in the yard -- or testing out his long legs, as in the video below -- with the rest of the family, his aunts and young cousins Diana and Darwin.

Growing Up Giraffe at New York's Bronx Zoo


Earlier this month, a Baringo giraffe calf made its public debut at the Bronx Zoo’s African Plains. Born on September 14, 2011, James Marjani is the first giraffe calf born at the Bronx Zoo since February 2009. He was approximately six feet tall at birth and estimated to weigh more than 100 pounds. As an adult, he could eventually grow to more than 17 feet and weigh close to 4,000 pounds. The baby was born to mother, Margaret Sukari, and father, James Michael. The Bronx Zoo names all of its giraffes in memory of Mr. and Mrs. James Carter, benefactors for whom the Carter Giraffe Building is named. His birth brings the total number of giraffes in the herd to eight.




Photo credits: Julie Larsen-Maher (c) WCS's Bronx Zoo

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Baby Giraffe Born in Belguim


There's a brand new baby giraffe calf on the savanna at the KDMA 's Planckendael in Belgium. Born to mom, Diamond, in late July after a gestation period of 15 1/2 months, the newborn is probably a male, weighing about 132 pounds (60 kg). The mother gave birth peacefully over 3 1/2 hours in the stable of her lodge, with her keepers nearby. That is a long time for a giraffe birth, but it is shorter than it was for Diamond the first time she gave birth. The calf was on its feet in only 20 minutes and is estimated to be 5' 9' (1.8 meters) tall.

Once the baby's gender is confirmed, they will start a poll for names on their website, There will be five African names the keepers provided from which to choose.

The newborn is getting used to the outdoors first in a small part of the savanna arena. The door remains open to the stall so mother and baby can go in or out as they please. Soon the new calf will be able to explore the greater plains together with his or her family, to which baby makes five:  Mom Diamond, Sarah, Barbie, and the lone male, Karega Baridi.



Photo Credit: Planckendael/KDMA

Did you know that giraffes are are the tallest land animals in the world and yet they have only seven cervical vertebrae, just like a mouse (and like us!)?

Diving Six Feet Head First into the World


The Virginia Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a baby Giraffe. After a two-hour labor and a six-foot headfirst drop, giraffe parents 10-year old Billy and 9 year-old Imara welcomed their new baby Thursday, July 28 at 4:20 p.m. The gestation period for Giraffes is 15 months, so this birth has been long anticipated by Zoo staff. Many Zoo visitors were lucky enough to watch the entire labor and birth.



Photo credits: Craig Pelke

"The idea of a six-foot drop sounds scary to people, but it's normal for a Giraffe," explains executive director Greg Bockheim. "It helps stimulate breathing to get the baby on its own - and since baby Giraffe can be 6-feet tall and 150 pounds, the fall doesn't seem so far to them." Zoo staff and board members are ecstatic about this new baby, he added. Mom and baby can be viewed by Zoo visitors now.

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A New Baby Giraffe for Cleveland Metroparks Zoo!

The eldest female Masai giraffe at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has a new calf to raise. Lindi, 26, gave birth on July 11 in the giraffe barn to a male calf named Trevor. Trevor is the first successful offspring for father, Travis, 4, who came to Cleveland in 2008 from the San Diego Zoo.

“Mom and baby are doing relatively well,” said Andi Kornak, the Zoo’s Curator of Carnivores and Large Mammals. “He was standing and moving around in an appropriate amount of time and was nursing within a few hours.” 

Giraffes give birth standing up, so newborns get an abrupt introduction to the world by dropping up to 6 feet to the ground. They are about 6-feet tall when they are born and weigh between 100 to 150 pounds. The calf joins the other giraffes in the African Savanna exhibit, Jada, 4, Grace, almost 3, Shirley, 5, and Jhasmin, 5. Keepers will give mom and baby time to bond and hope they can join the other giraffes in the herd on exhibit shortly in the Zoo’s African Savanna. 


Photo Credit: Jeanne DeBonis/Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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Six Feet of Joy for Dublin Zoo


Dublin Zoo welcomed a newborn Giraffe at 11.45am on Monday morning. The male calf stands tall at 1.8 metres (6 ft) and weighs approximately 40kgs (88 lbs). The giraffe calf will make his first appearance in the African Savanna on Saturday to celebrate Africa Day (21st May). The new arrival joins his mother Hailey, father Robin and sister Kuliko along with the other five Giraffes in the herd.

Helen Clarke-Bennet, team leader of the African Plains said, “He is a beautiful strong and healthy calf. He is much paler than his sister Kuliko with splashes of black hair from his knees to his feet.



Photo credits: Dublin Zoo

Getting a Leg Up in the First Week of Life


A baby giraffe joined Reticulated Giraffe parents Diamond and Casper at the Jackson Zoo in Jackson, Mississippi. Reticulated Giraffes have large brown spots separated by cream-colored lines, the males' color being darker than females. This female, who is not yet named, was born on Sunday night, May 2, 2011, measuring 5'8" tall and weighing 120 pounds. 

Jack Zoo Raff feeding 1st day

Zoo vet, Dr. Holifield, discovered an issue with the tendon of her right front hoof and as a precaution took corrective measures, wrapping that leg in tape and a special sock to help her stand. 

Jackson Zoo raff tendon sock w vet

She was expected to make a quick recovery and she did. She went outside on exhibit yesterday, May 9, at eight days old. Here she is, enjoying the sunshine!


Photo credits: First and last photos by Jackson Zoo, 2nd and 3rd by David Wetzel

Giraffes are native only to Africa, living on the dry savannas south of the Saraha Desert. Today, though they are still considered unendangered, they have all but disappeared from most of the West African and Kalahari range.

How Do You Say Giraffe in Chinese?


On March 16th, a healthy baby Giraffe was born at the Shanghai Zoo, their second calf of 2011. Since she was born on a bright cloudless day, keepers named the calf "Sunny," making her the second baby at the zoo with an English name. Perhaps due to her particularly tall father, Sunny measured an impressive 194 cm when she stood up shortly after birth. The Chinese characters for Giraffe are 長頸鹿 and sounded out as "cháng jǐng lù," which translates to "long-necked deer." This is the first birth ZooBorns has shared from a Chinese zoo. 



Photo credits: Shanghai Zoo

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First Giraffe Birth for Cincinnati in 26 Years!


Tessa, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s four-year-old Maasai Giraffe gave birth to her first calf Saturday morning, April 2 at 9:40 a.m. in her indoor stall. This news is especially exciting considering that the last time the Zoo celebrated a Giraffe birth was nearly 26 years ago!  The Cincinnati Zoo’s history with Giraffe births actually dates back to 1889 when it became the first zoo in the Western Hemisphere to have a Giraffe born in captivity.


Photo credits: Cincinnati Zoo

NOTE: The video below contains fascinating but graphic footage of the actual birth.

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Giraffe Is First Birth at Houston Zoo's African Forest


The Houston Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a female Masai Giraffe, the first birth in The African Forest, the Zoo’s newest addition which opened on December 10, 2010.  Mom Tyra delivered the healthy female calf shortly after 5 p.m. on March 4 at the McGovern Giraffe Exhibit at The African Forest following a 14 month pregnancy. “The calf weighs 150 pounds and is 6 foot 6 inches tall. She’s a strong healthy baby,” said Houston Zoo Hoofed Stock Supervisor Laurie McGivern. This is 12 year old Tyra’s sixth calf.  Kiva, the father is 15 years old.  With this new arrival, the Houston Zoo’s herd of Masai giraffe has grown to 8, including 5 males and 3 females.


reciprocal giraffe kisses...


Photo credits: Stephanie Adams / Houston Zoo

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