A Baby Giraffe Marks Spring at the Zoo

March 22, 2012

A female Baringo giraffe calf born in March at the Carter Giraffe Building will be making its debut this spring on the African Plains.

A female Baringo giraffe calf born this month in the Carter Giraffe Building will be making its debut this spring on the African Plains.

The big baby entered the world measuring approximately 6 feet tall and weighing more than 100 pounds. As an adult, she could eventually grow to 16 feet tall and weigh 2,600 pounds.

The calf and her mother will join the rest of the herd on exhibit in the coming days, once the pair has had a chance to bond.

Giraffes are pregnant for approximately 14 to 14.5 months, and their calves start walking within the first few hours of birth. The new baby will nurse for approximately one year, but keepers expect her to begin sampling solid food at three months of age. Eventually, her diet will include leaves, alfalfa hay, kale, pelleted grain, and produce.

The calf has not been named as of now. The Bronx Zoo names all of its giraffes in memory of Mr. and Mrs. James Carter, benefactors for the Carter Giraffe Building.

Giraffes are native to grasslands, savannahs, and open woodlands in central, east, and southern Africa. The Baringo giraffe (AKA Rothschild’s giraffe) is found in western Kenya and eastern Uganda. While populations are still robust in many places, the population is decreasing overall. WCS is working to protect giraffes in key African landscapes like Zakouma, Chad, Murchison Falls, Uganda, and in the Sahel of South Sudan.