Giraffe

Giraffe Calf Is Tallest Born at Brevard Zoo

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Standing at 6’4”, Brevard Zoo’s newest addition is the tallest Masai Giraffe ever born at the facility.

After a gestation period lasting more than a year, 14-year-old Milenna gave birth to the male calf early on March 7.

The little one is the second Giraffe born at the Florida zoo in under four months. A female, who has yet to be named, was born to Johari on November 29, 2015. Seventeen-year-old Rafiki is the father of both calves.

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“Our team conducted a neonatal exam on Tuesday afternoon [March 8] and everything looks good so far,” said Michelle Smurl, the Zoo’s director of animal programs. “He’s very energetic, which is always a positive sign.”

The calf is not expected to make its public debut for several weeks while he bonds with his mother behind the scenes. In the meantime, the public is encouraged to monitor Brevard Zoo’s social media channels for updates.

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Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Giraffe Herd Is ‘Twice As Nice’

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Taronga Western Plains Zoo is excited to announce the arrival of their second female Giraffe calf of the year. The newest arrival was born on the evening of February 1st.

The birth delighted Zoofari guests who had the chance to witness it during their evening, behind-the-scenes tour. Tour guides quickly alerted Keepers, who excitedly found the healthy calf.

Keepers have named the new female Kito (kee-toe), meaning “gem” in Swahili.

Kito is the first calf for mother, Myzita, who is showing all the right maternal behaviors.

“Kito is on exhibit with the rest of the herd including our other calf Nyah, born earlier this year,” said Giraffe Keeper Fiona Cameron. “She is distinguishable from Nyah by her size and her lighter coloring. Over the coming weeks, Kito will become more confident and we’ll start to see the two calves run, play and explore together. We are still expecting more Giraffe calves to be born this year, which is really very exciting.”

Kito_KellseyMelhuishPhoto Credits: Kellsey Melhuish / Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Giraffe numbers in the wild have been decreasing over the past decade it is estimated less than 80,000 Giraffe remain in the wild. The 30% drop in numbers is directly due to poaching for bush meat and also habitat encroachment by farmers.

“Every birth for a species, such as the Giraffe, that are seeing a decline in wild populations is important, as it helps to insure against extinction,” Fiona continued.

“Through programs such as Beads for Wildlife, we aim to help animals such as the

Giraffe by providing communities in Kenya with alternate income sources so they don’t have to rely so much on the herds and grazing. Less livestock means less pressure on water and food for wildlife such as the Giraffe.”


New Moon at BIOPARC Valencia

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BIOPARC Valencia’s ‘baby New Year’, a female Rothschild Giraffe, has been given a name. Fans of the Spanish zoo voted via social media, and the winning name is…Lluna (moon in Valencian)!

ZooBorns introduced readers to the endangered giraffe calf last month: “New Year, New Baby at Bioparc Valencia

The young giraffe continues to spend all of her time with experienced mother Zora, and Auntie Che. Father, Julius, is the only adult male specimen living at BIOPARC Valencia and is the progenitor of the rest of the calves born in the park.

Lluna and her family can now be seen enjoying their outdoor enclosure. She is also slowly being introduced to other species that inhabit the Zoo’s savannah exhibit.

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4_CRÍA DE JIRAFA - 5 semanas de vida - BIOPARC Valencia (2)Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

 

The Rothschild Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), also known as the Baringo Giraffe, is one of the most threatened of the nine sub-species of giraffe. It is named after the Tring Museum’s founder, Walter Rothschild.

All individuals living in the wild are in protected areas in Kenya and Uganda. The Rothschild Giraffe is at risk of hybridization and is currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, due to habitat destruction and poaching. Its geographic distribution includes central Kenya, northern Uganda and southern Sudan. According to latest figures, there are fewer than 1,500 individuals in the wild. BIOPARC Valencia participates in the EEP (captive breeding program for endangered species), and this new breeding is involved in this important initiative to preserve biodiversity.

The Rothschild Giraffe is distinguishable from other subspecies because of its coloring. Where as the Reticulated Giraffe has very defined dark patches with bright channels between, the Rothschild has paler, orange-brown patches that are less defined. Also, the Rothschild has no markings on the lower leg.

This subspecies mate any time of year and have a gestation period of 14 to 16 months, typically giving birth to a single calf. They prefer to live in small herds, with adult males and females only mixing for mating. Males are larger than females and tend to be darker in color.

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: “Current estimates of population size [of the Rothschild Giraffe] are well below 2,500 mature individuals, numbers are declining overall and no subpopulation is estimated to contain more than 250 mature individuals. The population is potentially close to meeting the population threshold for Critically Endangered under criterion C, depending on the number of individuals, if any, that survive in south Sudan.”


Six-foot-tall Calf Arrives at Indy Zoo

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Can you name a baby that was taller than an NBA point guard at birth?  We can - this male Giraffe calf born at the Indianapolis Zoo on January 9.

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Giraffe calf4-Carla KnappPhoto Credit:  Carla Knapp/Indianapolis Zoo

The calf is the zoo’s first baby of 2016 and stood six feet tall at birth and weighed 158 pounds.  The calf has not yet been named, but the zoo plans to hold a naming contest for the newborn soon.  This is the sixth calf — all of which were males — for 18-year-old mother Takasa. Like all Giraffes, Takasa gave birth standing up.  The calf stood and nursed by the time he was one hour old.  

Zoo keepers said the calf likes to explore his surroundings, but rarely ventures far from his mother.  He is the first calf for the zoo’s bull Giraffe, Majani.  Keepers note that the calf’s coloration is very similar to Majani’s, with pale, caramel-colored spots in contrast with Takasa’s cinnamon-colored spots. 

The tallest land mammals on the planet, Giraffes are under threat from shrinking wild lands and armed conflicts in their native sub-Saharan Africa. 

The Zoo’s Giraffe herd will remain in a heated indoor facility throughout the winter. The new family is expected to make its debut in the spring, and at that time, guests will have an opportunity to meet the new calf.


A Six-foot Bundle of Joy

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Utah's Hogle Zoo is pleased to introduce a six-foot bundle of leggy joy:  A baby Giraffe named Willow was born on January 13.

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Unnamed (2)Photo Credit:  Utah's Hogle Zoo

The female calf hit the ground - literally – shortly after noon. Giraffes deliver their babies standing up, so their calves face a four-foot drop as they enter the world.  This fall helps to break the umbilical cord and stimulates the baby to breathe.   Willow’s mom, 13-year-old Pogo, immediately began licking and cleaning her baby, and Willow stood and nursed within an hour of her birth.

Keepers estimate that Willow stood about six feet tall and weighed about 125 pounds at birth. Willow is the 17th Giraffe born at the Hogle Zoo.

The other Giraffes in the zoo’s herd are very interested in the new baby.  Willow’s father, 12-year-old Riley, leans over the wall of a neighboring stall to sniff her.  The other female Giraffes, who act as “aunties,” lick and sniff the newcomer as well.

Wild Giraffes live only in Africa, where they inhabit grasslands and savannahs.  Until recently, Giraffe populations were thought to be stable, but scientists now know that their numbers have fallen dramatically in the last few decades.  As humans convert formerly wild lands to pastures and farms, wild animals have fewer places to live.  For large animals like Giraffes, loss of habitat is a significant threat to their survival.


Baby Giraffe Arrives With the New Year

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As zoo keepers walked their early morning rounds on New Year’s Day at Australia’s Taronga Western Plains Zoo, they discovered the zoo’s first baby of 2016:  a female Giraffe calf with her mother, Ntombi.

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Photo Credit:  Rick Stevens

Keepers named the calf Nyah, which means “purpose” in Swahili.

Nyah is Ntombi’s third calf.  Keepers say Ntombi is very protective of her calf, but she is showing all the right maternal behaviors.

“The Giraffe calf is on exhibit with the rest of the herd, however, she is still a little shy, spending a lot of her day at the back of the exhibit,” said Giraffe keeper Jackie Stuart. “Over the coming weeks, she will start to become more confident and explore the rest of the exhibit.”

Wild Giraffe numbers have decreased dramatically over the past decade.  Scientists estimate that fewer than 80,000 Giraffes remain in Africa’s wild grasslands and savannahs. The 30% drop in numbers is due to poaching for bush meat and human encroachment into formerly wild lands.

The zoo participates in programs such as Beads for Wildlife, which provides income for Kenyan communities thereby reducing dependence on livestock, which require grazing.  With less livestock, the number of wildlife/livestock conflicts can be reduced, as well as reducing pressure on food and water sources.


New Year, New Baby at Bioparc Valencia

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The New Year started off big (and tall) for BIOPARC Valencia, in Spain, with the birth of a female Rothschild Giraffe.

Zora, an experienced mother, and has taken quite naturally to her new baby. The father, Julius, is the only adult male specimen living at BIOPARC Valencia and is the progenitor of the rest of the calves born in the park.

The small new Giraffe has been spending time being pampered by mom. Aunt Che, accompanies them at all times by providing company and helping them enjoy the tranquility of their interior quarters, which also have a patio to enjoy the sun and pleasant temperatures.

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3_Cría de jirafa recién nacida - BIOPARC Valencia - Junto a la jirafa CHEPhoto Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

 

The Rothschild Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), also known as the Baringo Giraffe, is one of the most threatened of the nine sub-species of giraffe. It is named after the Tring Museum’s founder, Walter Rothschild.

All individuals living in the wild are in protected areas in Kenya and Uganda. The Rothschild Giraffe is at risk of hybridization and is currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, due to habitat destruction and poaching. Its geographic distribution includes central Kenya, northern Uganda and southern Sudan. According to latest figures, there are fewer than 1,500 individuals in the wild. BIOPARC Valencia participates in the EEP (captive breeding program for endangered species), and this new breeding is involved in this important initiative to preserve biodiversity.

The Rothschild Giraffe is distinguishable from other subspecies because of its coloring. Where as the Reticulated Giraffe has very defined dark patches with bright channels between, the Rothschild has paler, orange-brown patches that are less defined. Also, the Rothschild has no markings on the lower leg.

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UPDATE: Baby Giraffe Meets Her Fans

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A baby Giraffe born November 29 recently made her public debut at Florida’s Brevard Zoo.

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The female calf, who has not yet been named, was behind the scenes with her mother Johari since her birth.  This allowed the calf to bond with her mother and slowly be introduced to other members of the zoo’s giraffe herd. 

Giraffes are pregnant for about 15 months, and the mother gives birth standing up.  This calf weighed 152 pounds at birth and stood about six feet tall. ZooBorns shared the calf’s first photos here.

This calf is a Masai Giraffe, which is one of nine subspecies of Giraffe.  All Giraffes are native to Africa, but their numbers are shrinking due to habitat loss and human encroachment into formerly wild lands. 

 


Warsaw Zoo Gives Extra Care to Giraffe Calf

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Just prior to Christmas, a male Giraffe was born at the Warsaw Zoo. New mom Lissy had difficulty feeding her calf so the Zoo’s staff have stepped in to assist.

For a short time, the calf also sported a bandage around his middle to help his umbilical cord heal.

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4_701936_1082210238485596_2266478646362177138_oPhoto Credits: Warsaw Zoo

Warsaw Zoological Garden was founded in 1928. Originally, it covered only 12 hectares (30 acres) of grounds (presently it is 40 hectares = 99 acres) and collected almost 500 animal specimens.

The 1930’s was a period of intense development of the Zoo, under management of Director Jan Żabiński. At that time, many facilities were constructed for exotic animals: Monkey House, Hippopotamus House, Elephant House, Giraffe House, Polar Bears’ Run and Seals’ Pool. The biggest success was birth of female Indian Elephant – Tuzinka in 1937. It was subsequently the twelfth Elephant born in captivity in the world, and until now the only in Poland.

In 1939 the Zoo terrain was enlarged to 32 hectares (79 acres), making Warsaw Zoo the largest in Europe.

In September 1939 – in time of the greatest prosperity – Warsaw Zoo ceased to exist. As a result of bombings that beset Warsaw, a part of the Zoo’s facilities were destroyed and many animals died. Most of the dangerous animals were shot down, on command of authorities. Some surviving animals went loose in the City, and the most valuable specimens, including Tuzinka were taken away to Germany. Their fate was never learnt, but it is believed they were relocated to Nazi game-hunting farms.

During WWII, former director of the Zoo, Jan Żabiński, and his wife risked their lives by rescuing over 300 Jews, many having hidden at their Zoo Villa.

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New Giraffe Calf Joins Tower at Artis

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Natura Artis Magistra, in the Netherlands, welcomed its newest Reticulated Giraffe on November 30th.

The new male calf is the third giraffe born at the Zoo this year. The new mother was also born at Artis in 2010, and this is her second offspring. The herd, or "tower" (as a group of giraffes is called), at Artis now consists of nine: five females and four males.

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4_12339380_905624949512606_6088625754170277191_oPhoto Credits: Safi Kok

The Reticulated Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata), also known as the Somali Giraffe, is a subspecies of giraffe native to savannas of Somalia, southern Ethiopia, and northern Kenya. Reticulated Giraffes can interbreed with other giraffe subspecies in captivity or if they come into contact with populations of other subspecies in the wild.

The Reticulated Giraffe is among the most well-known of the nine giraffe subspecies. Together with the Rothschild Giraffe, it is the type most commonly seen in zoos. They are known to often walk around with birds on their backs. These birds are called tickbirds. The tickbirds eat bugs that live on the giraffe’s coat, and alert the animals to danger by chirping loudly.

A female has a gestation period of about 15 months and usually has only one young at a time, but a mature female can have around eight offspring in her lifetime. Females return to the same spot each year to give birth. The mother gives birth standing up and the calf falls seven feet to the ground. Calves can weigh up to 200 lbs. at birth and stand as tall as six feet. They are able to stand less than an hour after birth. The young are weaned at around one year of age.

In the wild, giraffes have few predators, but they are sometimes preyed upon by lions and less so by crocodiles and spotted hyenas. However, humans are a very real threat, and giraffes are often killed by poachers for their hair and skin. Currently, there are thought to be less than 80,000 giraffes roaming Africa, and some subspecies are thought to be almost completely gone, with fewer than 100 individuals. Reticulated Giraffes are currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.

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