Another giraffe born at the San Diego Zoo -- this time it’s a girl
Shall we just rename it Giraffic Park?
Breeding giraffes is difficult for many zoos. But on Sunday, the San Diego Zoo celebrated its second giraffe birth within a month.
The female calf weighed in at 154 pounds and stood 6' 1" at birth, or rather after the Masai giraffe ambled to her long legs. She’s the first calf for mother Domibella.
Masai giraffes are the tallest giraffe species or subspecies -- there’s some controversy over their status -- but whatever the taxonomy, bulls can reach nearly 20 feet.
Father Fred is the bull of the herd. It’s his second offspring. Fred’s first was born on April 28, a strapping 157-pound boy. That calf was the fifth for experienced mom Harriet.
The most recent birth before Harriet’s took place at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in late January. Acacia gave birth to a boy, who soon developed signs of illness. An examination at the park’s veterinary hospital broke the maternal bond, so Acacia would not accept him back. He is being hand-raised by veterinary staff.
These successful births come after a sad end for another baby giraffe at the Safari Park. Named Kumi, he was euthanized toward the end of December, after being discovered with a gore wound. That wound is believed to have been inflicted by an antelope. Kumi had been born last August.
Giraffes are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Their wild populations are split into nine territories. Some populations are increasing, but others are decreasing. The danger is some of the smaller pockets could decline into extinction.
As for the new baby, the zoo says she’s welcome to stay. Alternatively, the calf could eventually be transferred to another zoo as part of a Species Survival Plan. This is a multi-zoo program that gets animals to facilities where they can best contribute to maintaining a captive population.
“If and when a move is identified in support of SSP recommendations, we would hope to participate,” a zoo spokeswoman said.
The Safari Park lets you see giraffes, rhinos and other species in its African Plains terrain on its Giraffe Cam. Take in the view at sdzsafaripark.org/giraffe-cam.
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