Double Delight: Two Rothschild Giraffe Babies for Prague Zoo

Female tongue

There are two reasons to celebrate this month at Prague Zoo. After 14 months of gestation, two Rothschild Giraffe calves were born within days of each other. The first arrived on February 9, born to mom Nora, one of the best known animals at the Zoo. Nora is 13 years old and a very experienced mother -- this is her fifth baby and she successfully raised all but the first on her own. The father of the newborn is the twelve-year-old Johan. Their calf is a female and has been named Apolena.

Mom and appolonia

Just two days later, on February 11, another female in the herd named Eliška began to go into labor. She had not eaten anything since the morning and was nervously pacing up and down the dormitory. As if to lend support, Nora paid close attention to Eliška's process from the neighboring dorm. Eliška successfully gave birth to a little male, cleaning him thoroughly. He stood and suckled soon after. His name will be chosen out of three options by public vote.

Male and mom


Photo Credit: Photos 1-4, Tomas Adamec/Prague Zoo, Photo 5: Martin Smrček/Zoo Praha

Valentine Baby - Giraffe Born at Paignton Zoo


This baby Rothschild's Giraffe was born at the UK's Paignton Zoo on Valentine’s Day. The new arrival was came into the world in the wee hours on February 14 to mom Janica and dad Yoda. The as yet unnamed male calf stands at nearly six feet tall.

Senior Head Mammal Keeper Matt Webb said: “He did not suckle on Tuesday. We hoped mother and calf would settle down and he would be able to feed, but keepers and the Zoo’s in-house vet team had to step in and feed him by hand."

While the baby bonded with it's mother, she didn't quite bond with him. Keepers were surprised, as she had previously reared this baby's little brother Tonda, who was born in February 2010, just fine. So he will be bottle fed by hand. It will take up to three gallons of hand-fed full-fat milk a day to help this little boy grow.

The baby, mother and father, along with the herd's other adult female are all Rothschild's (Baringo) giraffes. Rothschild's giraffes are classified as Endangered and there is a European Endangered species Program for the species.

Photo Credit: Paignton Zoo

New Giraffe Baby Debuts at Oakland Zoo


There's a new giraffe calf at the Oakland Zoo in California and it's a little girl! Born in January 12, to mom Twiga and dad Mabusu, she's been named Maggie and weighed 80 pounds and was seventy-two inches tall at birth. This is the first female giraffe born at the Zoo in nearly a decade. On February 2 Maggie made make her grand debut to the public.

The Oakland Zoo is thrilled to be a partner and supporter of the Reticulated Giraffe Research Project based in the Samburu National Reserve, Kenya. John Doherty, principal researcher for the project, joined the Oakland Zoo giraffe keepers at the Zoo on February 2nd to speak about some of the crucial conservation issues facing this majestic species.  

Maggie is on exhibit every day between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. with the rest of the herd.



Photo credit: Nancy Filippi/Oakland Zoo

The Giraffe Baby Boom Continues!


Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomed a new baby female Reticulated Giraffe on Monday, January 27, 2011. At 6 foot, 2 inches tall and weighing approximately 176 pounds, the newborn is the calf of father, Jafari and mother, Cupid. This is Jafari’s second calf, and cupid’s fifth.
This new addition brings the park’s reticulated giraffe population to 19. Exactly one month to the day before this most recent birth, another female in the herd, Tesa, gave birth to Jafari’s first calf, which was also female.


Photo credit: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The new mother and baby are currently in an area out of guest view so they can be closely monitored by zoo staff to ensure the baby is nursing and growing properly. The duo will join the other animals on the Serengeti Plain in about three months.
A Reticulated Giraffe’s gestation period is approximately 15 months, and the new baby will nurse for about one year. This birth is part of a successful long-term breeding program at Busch Gardens. The term “reticulated” refers to the Giraffe’s net-like pattern of spots.
Busch Gardens’ 65-acre Serengeti Plain is a naturalistic habitat featuring a diverse population of free-roaming African animals including Giraffe, Zebra, White Rhinoceros, Eland Antelope and several other species of hoof stock and birds.

More outstanding photos beneath the fold!

Continue reading "The Giraffe Baby Boom Continues!" »

January Baby: New Giraffe for Marwell Wildlife


As of January 31 a new baby giraffe joined the herd at Marwelle Wildlife in the UK! Keepers cannot confirm whether the calf is a boy or a girl but a closer examination will take place in the next few days. This is the first baby for mom Ursula. She went into labor with all the other giraffes around her. Everything went well as the feet made their appearance, which is the typical way giraffes are born. The hooves come out striaght like Superman's arms, and then the long neck and finally the body.The final drop into the hay is not as far because so much of the baby is out and half-way to the floor in the process. 

The other giraffes gathered around while Ursula went through the motions and after the calf was given it's first clean up by Mom, the herd gather round to meet the new arrival. 

The baby, which is a Rothschild’s giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), is part of a European Breeding Program. Currently the species is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Giraffes face many threats in the wild including habitat loss and poaching for meat and hides. It is thought there may be only a few hundred individuals left in the wild.



Group hello

Photo Credit: Marwell Wildlife


It's a New Baby Giraffe for Jacksonville Zoo


The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens announced the birth of a male reticulated giraffe on January 11. The calf weighs approximately 145 pounds (65.7 kg), is six feet tall (1.82 m), and doing well. Guests riding the Zoo train may see the calf and its mother in the outdoor holding area, pending weather conditions or feeding and health care

“The neonatal or ‘well baby’ exam has been completed, and the calf is off to a good start,” said Tony Vecchio, executive director of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.  “The calf was standing on all fours within one hour of the birth and is now walking, sitting, standing and nursing properly. The keepers and animal healthcare staff will continue to monitor the newborn closely.” 

This is the second offspring for mom, five-year-old Naomi, since she arrived at Jacksonville Zoo in October 2006. The calf’s father is Duke, the 14-year-old patriarch of the giraffe herd, who has now sired a total of seven offspring since he came to the Zoo in April of 2003. The Zoo now has nine giraffes in its collection and this is the 31st giraffe born there.

In the wild, poaching, human population growth and habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation continue to impact giraffes across the African continent. Current estimates by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation have the giraffe population at less than 80,000 individuals across all subspecies. This is a considerable drop in the last decade, where, in 1999, it was estimated by the IUCN that there were more like 140,000 giraffes.

Gir up


W mom


Photo Credits: Jacksonville Zoo 

Holiday Baby: Busch Gardens Welcomes a Little Giraffe


Florida's Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomed a new baby reticulated giraffe on December 27. At 5 foot, 7 inches tall (1.524 meters) and weighing approximately 127 pounds (57.6 kilos), the newborn female is the calf of father, Jafari and mother,Tesa, who has previously given birth to four other calves at Busch Gardens. She brings the park’s reticulated giraffe population to 18. The term “reticulated” refers to the giraffe’s net-like pattern of spots.

Mother and baby are currently in an area out of guest view so they can be closely monitored by zoo staff to ensure the baby is nursing and growing properly. The duo will join the other animals on the Serengeti Plain in about three months.

A giraffe’s gestation period is approximately 15 months, and the baby will nurse for about one year. This birth is part of a successful long-term breeding program at BuschGardens.



Photo Credits: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

More pictures after the jump!


Baby giraffe

Zoo Liberec's First Baby of the Year is a Tall One!

Liberec Giraffe Rothschild 2

Zoo Liberec, in Liberec, Czech Republic, welcomed a female Rothschild Giraffe calf on Saturday January 7. This first birth of the year for the Czech Zoo has zoo officials very excited, and visitors will soon be able to visit the calf in person. Rothschild Giraffes are one of the most endangered Giraffe subspecies, with only a few hundred left in the wild. It has recently been proposed that this breed of giraffe is actually a separate species of giraffe entirely.

Liberec Giraffe Rothschild 3

Liberec Giraffe Rothschild
Photo credits: Zoo Liberec

The distinguishing characteristics of Rothschild Giraffes from other Giraffe subspecies include the markings on it's pelt. While reticulated Giraffes have clearly defined dark patches separated by whitish channels, the Rothschild Giraffe, like the Masai giraffe, exhibits less sharply defined dark patches and creamier hued dividing channels. It also gives the appearance of wearing stockings, since its spots don't continue below its knee joint. The Rothschild Giraffe subspecies has a total of five horns: two on top of its head, a third horn in the center of its forehead, and two more behind its ears.

"Long" Awaited Giraffe Arrival in Singapore!

Singapore Wilidlife Park Giraffe Calf 4

Wildlife Reserves Singapore in Mandai, Singapore welcomed a lanky surprise this festive season – a 1.88m tall baby Giraffe born on December 5, 2011! The male calf got on his feet just moments after a six-foot drop from his mother, Dobeni, who gave birth standing up. The birth is the first in three years. The 75-kg baby, which is still unnamed, is the third South African Giraffe born at the Reserves' Night Safari. His father, Pongola, and mother Dobeni are also proud parents of female Giraffe Kayin, born at the park in 2008.

Singapore Wilidlife Park Giraffe Calf 2

Singapore Wilidlife Park Giraffe Calf 5

Singapore Wilidlife Park Giraffe Calf 3

Singapore Wilidlife Park Giraffe Calf 1
Photo credits: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

“We hope that the birth of this South African Giraffe sub-species at Night Safari will continue to increase the gene pool of the species for global zoological institutions through animal exchanges and breeding programs,” said Mr. Subash Chandran, Assistant Director, Zoology, for Night Safari.

Continue reading ""Long" Awaited Giraffe Arrival in Singapore!" »

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.