A new giraffe is born at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio. Zoo officials made an announcement on Tuesday (October 30) and introduced the newcomer to the outside world.
According to a report by Fox News, the calf was born to the Zoo’s 8-year-old giraffe, Zuri. The father of the new calf is an 8-year-old Masai giraffe named Enzi.
In July, zoo officials announced that Zuri and another 6-year-old giraffe named Cami are pregnant. Zuri was brought to Columbus Zoo in 2013 after being at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio, per 10 TV.
Officials also said that they are closely monitoring the mother and the calf. The sex of the giraffe is, however, not known yet. The birth of the giraffe was captured on a National Geographic webcam, per Fox News.
The new giraffe’s arrival is important to the zoo because it’s the first time in nearly 20 years that a calf is born in the zoo. The last time a giraffe gave birth in the zoo was in 1999, as reported by 10 TV.
As Columbus Zoo announced the birth of the baby giraffe on their social media channels, people expressed their happiness and excitement on the newcomer’s arrival.
“Oooo! I can’t wait until this summer! My little one LOVES giraffes and I can’t wait to take him to see them in person,” a parent wrote on the Zoo’s Facebook page.
“I needed a new baby giraffe in my life!!!!! So cute!!!!” another person commented.
The gestation period (duration of pregnancy) in giraffes is one of the longest in the animal kingdom, and can last up to 14 to 15 months (453 to 464 days). And although it’s possible for giraffes to give birth to twins, they usually give birth to only one calf. At birth, baby giraffes are expected to weigh anywhere from 100 to 150 pounds and can be around 6 feet tall, per Giraffe World.
When living in the wild, giraffes usually have a life expectancy of 15 years, but in captivity, they can live up to 20 to 25 years. Females reach sexual maturity at age 6, while male giraffes start breeding at 7 years old. The reason why life expectancy is lower in the wild is because giraffes can be easily hunt down by predators.
Baby giraffes can walk within a couple of hours after being born, but because of their sizes, they get tired very fast. This makes them vulnerable to predators, per Giraffe World. For the first 14 days, baby giraffes rest a lot and are protected by their mothers. And despite their mother’s protection, only about 25% of young giraffes reach adulthood in the wild because of predators.
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