The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens announced the birth of a baby giraffe who immediately stole the hearts of staff members and visitors.
The still-unnamed female giraffe was born Monday in front of visitors as they witnessed the calf stand and take its first steps, according to the zoo’s Erin Scott.
IT’S A GIRL! #TheLivingDesert’s newest giraffe calf joined the herd yesterday, February 21, 2022 to first time parents, Shellie and Kelley. Today at her well-baby exam, the veterinary team noted that the female giraffe calf weighs 143 pounds and stands 5’10”. #giraffecalf pic.twitter.com/mKLPWaLRi0
— The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens (@livingdesert) February 23, 2022
“This sweet giraffe calf has captured the hearts of the community,” said RoxAnna Breitigan, director of Animal Care. “Many of our guests had a front-row seat along the guest pathway and hearing their collective excitement as the calf was born and began to stand was a true delight.”
The giraffe stands at 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs around 143 pounds. She was born to mother Shellie Muujiza and father Kelley. The calf will nurse for nine to 12 months and double her size in the first year of her life.
The calf will be introduced to the giraffe savanna enclosure at the zoo next week, according to Scott.
hello baby We are excited to share that this morning, a giraffe calf was born on the giraffe savanna habitat. Mom and calf are bonding and doing well. The calf’s well-baby veterinary exam is scheduled for tomorrow morning. More details to come!#thelivingdesert #giraffecalf pic.twitter.com/zlN364sogC
— The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens (@livingdesert) February 21, 2022
Giraffes are listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a vulnerable species. The giraffe population has decreased by about 40% in the last 30 years, with fewer than 98,000 in the wild.