Giraffe

Baby Giraffe is Standing Tall at Burgers' Zoo

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Just two days ago on January 25, this female giraffe was born at Burgers’ Zoo in The Netherlands.   The baby is named Annelieke, but the zoo staff has already nicknamed her Lieke.

Female giraffes give birth standing up.  The baby emerges front feet first, followed by the nose, head, neck, body, and hindquarters.   The baby drops about six feet to the ground and within minutes, struggles to stand up.   With encouraging licks from mom’s 18-inch-long tongue, the baby eventually stands upright on wobbly legs – at least for a few seconds!  Zoo staffers rarely assists in giraffe births, and most babies stand and nurse successfully within the first few hours of life. 

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Photo Credit:  Burgers' Zoo

Why the hurry to get the baby on its feet? In the wild, baby giraffes are easy prey for hungry lions and hyenas.  The sooner the baby can walk and follow the herd, the better.

There are nine subspecies of giraffes, with each found in fragmented populations across central, eastern, and southern Africa. 

 


Brookfield Zoo Welcomes 58th Giraffe Calf

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Arnieta, a 5-year-old reticulated giraffe at Brookfield Zoo, gave birth to a male calf in the early afternoon on November 12. Mother and baby spent their first week together off exhibit to allow for good maternal bonding and to make sure the calf is developing normally.

The birth took place in an off-exhibit area. Soon after the birth, the 140-pound, 6-foot-2-inch-tall calf stood and began nursing. This week they are being introduced to the other females in the herd: Mithra, 22; Franny, 21; and Jasiri, 7, in the zoo’s Habitat Africa! exhibit.

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This calf is the 58th giraffe born at Brookfield Zoo. His birth marks three generations of giraffes at Brookfield Zoo, as Franny is Arnieta’s mom. The sire, Hasani, 4, who arrived at Brookfield Zoo in 2010, is on a breeding loan from Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City, Kansas. The calf’s birth is a very important addition to the North American zoo population because it is the first offspring for both Arnieta and Hasani. The pairing of the two was based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Reticulated Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP). An SSP is a cooperative population management and conservation program for select species in accredited AZA zoos and aquariums. Each SSP manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.

Following a 14½-month gestation period, mother giraffes give birth while standing, resulting in an approximately five-foot drop delivery for the calf. Within an hour after birth, the calf born at Brookfield Zoo was standing. When fully grown, he could potentially reach 18 feet tall.

Giraffe numbers have declined by 40 percent in the last decade, and there are now fewer than 80,000 individuals in Africa. There are fewer than 5,000 reticulated giraffe left in East Africa.

Additionally, of the nine subspecies of giraffes in Africa, two—the West African giraffe and the Rothschild’s giraffe—are classified as endangered, with less than 250 and 670 individuals, respectively, remaining in the wild. The populations are declining due to a number of factors, including habitat loss and fragmentation coupled with human population growth and illegal hunting.

Phptp Credits:  Brookfield Zoo


It's a Boy! Giraffe Born at Whipsnade Zoo

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The ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is delighted to announce the birth of a male Giraffe.  The as yet-unnamed youngster was born on September 30 to proud first-time mother Ijuma and dad Uno. He's just begun exploring his outdoor exhibit.

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The baby boy took his first wobbly steps just a few hours after birth, a nerve-wracking experience for onlooking zoo keepers. He is now very confident on his long legs and can often be seen galloping around the Giraffe barn.

The Whipsnade Zoo staff  reports that Ijuma has been showing good maternal instincts and the other Giraffes, including Dad Uno, are very curious about the new arrival, peering over the fence to get a better look.

Giraffes are native to eastern and southern Africa.  There are nine subspecies, each with a distinctive coat pattern. As a whole, Giraffes are listed as “Least Concern” by the IUCN, but two of the subspecies are classified as endangered and many populations have become fragmented.  The overall population of Giraffes has decreased by nearly half in the last decade. 

Photo Credit:  ZSL Whipsnade Zoo


Chester Zoo Celebrates Birth of a Pure Rothschild Giraffe, it's Parents a Perfect Match!

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There's a new arrival at Chester Zoo! Despite being just a few days old, at five-and-a-half feet tall, the baby is already towering over its keepers. This pure Rothschild Giraffe is the firstborn for new mum Dagmar, following a 14-and-a-half-month pregnancy.

Tim Rowlands, Curator of Mammals, said, “Dagma is a first time mum but you’d never guess it – she has been doing brilliantly so far. She seems to be taking motherhood all in her, rather long, stride. The baby is strong and tall and she was on her feet really quickly and suckling from mum not long after.”

The new arrival is especially good news as there are now less than 670 Rothschild Giraffes left in the wild, following the loss of their traditional habitat in their native Kenya and Uganda and their poaching for their meat. This species is the most endangered of the nine sub-species of Giraffe.

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Photo Credit: Chester Zoo/Steve Rawlins

Dagmar arrived at the zoo on Valentine’s Day last year, after finding love via an online animal dating service. She was brought to the UK from a wildlife park in Denmark to be partnered with the zoo’s then bull Giraffe, Thorn, after a long search on a computerized matchmaking service turned up a perfect genetic pairing.

Lizzie Bowen, senior giraffe keeper, said: “We put Thorn’s genetic details into an online database and it turned out a perfect match for him. This species of Giraffe is very rare and is on the ICUN red-list of Endangered species, meaning careful breeding programs in zoos are vital for their long-term survival. However, finding and getting together a good breeding pair can be very difficult indeed.”

Just like the digital dating services that pair up people, the database contains information on gender, age, height and weight, as well as a page out of most human dating sites – details of an animal’s personality.

“Dagmar was described as being rather playful and pretty and she has certainly lived up to that. She seemed to turn Thorn’s head pretty much straight away and this week we’ve seen the result with the birth of a beautiful, pure baby Rothschild giraffe,” added Lizzie. 

Both baby and Mom are already on exhibit to be enjoyed by the visiting public.

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Live Tweet of Giraffe Birth From Cincinnati Zoo; Now Help Name Her!

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It's a girl! Ohio's Cincinnati Zoo welcomed a new baby Masai Giraffe early Friday morning, October 12. Mom Tessa gave birth at about 8:30 a.m. after a two hour labor. Only 52 minutes after birth, the calf was standing, interacting with her mom and Dad Kimba, and nursing successfully.

The zoo live-Tweeted the entire series of events with a variety of pictures which helped the public share in the excitement, starting from when Tessa went into labor. Keepers updated as the baby was coming out and up until baby was cleaned by mom and stood up. 

And just yesterday the zoo announced that name suggestions for the baby giraffe will be accepted on their Facebook and Twitter pages through end of day on Wednesday, October 17. Then, on October 18, the zoo will post the top three names, chosen by zoo staff, on its Facebook page, where you can vote for your favorite! The winning name will be announced on Friday, October 19! 

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Photo Credit: Cincinnati Zoo

The newborn was given time to bond with mom and the herd over the weekend, and on Monday, October 15, went on exhibit. Zoo visitors can view the family through windows on the Giraffe Ridge deck. 

See more pictures of the new baby after the fold:

Continue reading "Live Tweet of Giraffe Birth From Cincinnati Zoo; Now Help Name Her!" »


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

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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. 

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Photo Credit: Hogle Zoo


 


Just Minutes Old, Baby Giraffe Stands for the First Time!

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On September 18, while keepers and zoo guests watched in amazement, 19-year-old Cheka the Giraffe delivered a healthy female calf at Missouri's Dickerson Park Zoo.  Covered in dirt after her delivery and with the umbilicus visible on her belly, the six-and-a-half-foot tall baby Giraffe struggled to her feet and took her first wobbly steps within an hour of birth (see video).

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The baby Giraffe was named Pammy J. or P.J. by zoo keepers and is the first calf sired by Peperuka, the zoo's bull Giraffe, who arrived in 2011.  Pammy J. is Cheka's ninth calf.  Three other female Giraffes at Dickerson Park Zoo are pregnant, and all are expected to deliver in the next three to four months. 

Giraffes give birth standing up.  The calf emerges front feet and nose first, then falls six or more feet to the ground.  The mother immediately begins licking the baby, cleaning it and stimulating the newborn to stand.  In Giraffes' native African home, it is important that calves stand and walk within an hour to avoid falling prey to a hungry lion. 

Photo Credit:  Dickerson Park Zoo

 

 

 


Tall, dark and handsome: Baby Giraffe born at Great Plains Zoo

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The Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History welcomed a new Giraffe to its herd on Sunday, September 2.  The Zoo’s 13-year-old Reticulated Giraffe “Libby” gave birth to her fourth calf, a male weighing 147 pounds and standing about six feet tall.  The Zoo’s animal care staff monitored the birth from the lobby of the Giraffe Barn. 

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After a 15-month gestation, Giraffes give birth standing up, and the calves drop more than five feet to the ground.  The fall doesn’t hurt the calf; it just causes it to take a breath.  After about an hour, the calf can stand, walk, and begin to nurse - a trait essential for survival on the African savannah.    

“The birth of a Giraffe calf is latest in a long list of significant births we’ve had in the past year,” said Elizabeth A. Whealy, President and CEO of the Great Plains Zoo.  “This is an exciting time for the Zoo, as we work to help create healthy populations of these precious animals.” 

Photo Credits:  Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum


Paignton Zoo Welcomes Baby Rothschild's Giraffe

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Zoo keepers are watching over a baby Rothschild's Giraffe born at Paignton Zoo. The new arrival was came into the world at around 6:00 a.m. on September 4 to mother Sangha and father Yoda. The as yet unnamed calf stands at nearly six feet tall. Rothschild Giraffes are one of the most threatened of the nine giraffe sub-species, with fewer than 700 remaining in the wild.

Although the youngster tried valiantly to nurse, its keepers have now taken the baby under their wing to hand-rear because it was not getting enough milk. Parent rearing is always preferable and keepers were hopeful, as this mother has done it before quite successfully -- but in this case they ended up having to step in. Luckily, a local dairy, Riverford Organic Dairy, has been able to supply them with the necessary milk.

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Photo Credit: Paignton Zoo

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Dublin Zoo's New Baby Rothschild Giraffe a "Sweet One"

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Dublin Zoo announced that its newest arrival, a rare female Rothschild Giraffe, has officially been named Tamu! The name means ‘sweet one’ in Swahili, and was submitted to the zoo by Grainne Byrne of Summerhill, County Meath.

Helen Clarke-Bennet, team leader of the African Plains said,Tamu is doing very well standing tall at six feet with a pale tan coat which makes her easily recognisable among the herd. She is an extremely well adjusted and relaxed calf, following the herd wherever they wander. We received an overwhelming number of superb suggestions and picking the winning entry was not easy. We chose the name Tamu as it fits her personality perfectly!”

The Rothschild Giraffe is one of the most threatened of the nine giraffe sub-species. Rothschild males grow to 19.5 feet (six meters) in height and can weigh as much as 4,000 pounds (2000kg)! Their coat is a distinct mix of dark patches that are broken up by bright cream channels. Fewer than 700 now live in the wild.

Live footage of the giraffe herd can be seen anytime on Dublin Zoo’s African Savanna webcam.

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Photo Credit: Dublin Zoo