Male Giraffe Calf Born at Niabi Zoo PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Local Events
Written by Marc Heinzman   
Tuesday, 05 June 2012 14:50

Coal Valley, IL– June 2, 2012 – Niabi Zoo is extremely happy to announce the birth of its second male giraffe calf on Friday, June 1, at 2:59 am. This is the fourth giraffe born at Niabi Zoo since 2007.

The baby giraffe, which has not yet been named, was born to Twiga, Niabi Zoo’s 6 year old female. This is Twiga’s second baby. Zuri, a female, was born in April of 2010. The father is Kenya, a 6 year old male. The baby weighed 152 pounds and stands about 6 feet tall.

“Twiga and her new son are doing very well,” says Interim Zoo Director Marc Heinzman. “We’re all very excited to have our fourth giraffe born here in only five years. We had been waiting for a long time for Twiga to have her baby, so it’s great to have him here finally.”

Twiga and her son will be kept off display for a few days to allow the two giraffes time to bond in a quiet setting. Later this week she will be out for public viewing.

The giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis, is the world’s tallest mammal. Average height for an adult giraffe is 14-19 feet and the average weight is 1,800 – 3,000 pounds. They are herbivores, using their 18 inch tongues to help pull leaves from the branches of tall trees. Although their necks are unusually long, they have only seven neck vertebrae, just like humans.

After a gestation of approximately 14 months, giraffes give birth standing up. The calf drops five to six feet to the ground. This fall helps the calf take its first breath. Calves can stand usually within a few hours and run with their mothers within ten hours. Six feet tall a birth, calves normally weigh 100 – 150 pounds and can grow as much as one inch per day.

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