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Zoo Photo: Giraffe Born at Cincinnati Zoo

Tessa, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s four-year-old Maasai giraffe gave birth to her first calf yesterday, in her indoor stall, the zoo said in a statement released with this photo and video.

“This news is especially exciting considering that the last time the Zoo celebrated a giraffe birth was nearly 26 years ago,” the zoo added.   The Cincinnati Zoo’s history with giraffe births goes back to 1889 when it became the first zoo in the Western Hemisphere to have a giraffe born in captivity, the zoo said.

 

Cincinnati Zoo photo

More photos of baby animals in Zoo News

“The Zoo is buzzing with excitement today with the birth of the baby giraffe,” Thane Maynard, Executive Director of the Cincinnati Zoo, said yesterday. “It’s been a long time, but well worth the wait.  Just when you think you have seen it all, something truly amazing like this comes along reminds me how special nature truly is.”

Tessa became restless early Saturday morning, around 5 a.m., the zoo said. “Shortly thereafter, volunteers noticed the calf’s hoof coming through and immediately contacted Zoo Veterinarian and Keeper staff.  Four hours later, Tessa delivered her calf at 9:40 a.m. Soon after delivery, Tessa began licking her calf and the calf first attempted to stand around 10:00 a.m.  The calf successfully nursed at 11:10 a.m. Sex of the calf is unknown at this time.”

Tessa, who currently weighs approximately 1,800 pounds, came to the Cincinnati Zoo in 2008 from the Houston Zoo for the opening of the Giraffe Ridge exhibit. The father, “Kimbaumbau” (Kimba) also came to Cincinnati in 2008, from the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island.

Although the numbers have decreased in the past century, giraffes are not currently endangered, but listed as “lower risk” with fairly stable populations, Cincinnati Zoo said. “Unlike many species, there is no true breeding season for the Maasai Giraffe and females can become pregnant beginning at just four years of age.  In the wild up to 75 percent of the calves die in their first few months of life, mainly due to predation.”

Comments

  1. raffaele
    caserta italy
    April 6, 2011, 3:39 pm

    it s very very incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Wenda
    Mauritius
    April 6, 2011, 2:21 am

    just beautiful.

  3. Ricky Setticase
    Kansas City Kansas
    April 5, 2011, 1:06 pm

    I am saddened to see yet another sentient being born into captivity of the for profit zoo industry.

  4. Kathie Belanger
    Clinton, Maine
    April 4, 2011, 4:10 pm

    The most beautiful, heartwarming video I’ve seen in a long time. There’s nothing more precious than the birth of a baby….any baby. Thank you for sharing this amazing experience with the world.

  5. carol lippmeier
    millville,ohio
    April 4, 2011, 3:09 pm

    What a honor to live in Cincinnat. We have the bestt
    zoo in the country. Thanks Zane! You have done a wonderful job.

  6. trumanblue
    April 4, 2011, 1:18 pm

    Beautiful.

  7. Nicole
    Ohio
    April 4, 2011, 11:52 am

    I cannot wait to go to the Cincinnati Zoo to see this happy family. I haven’t been there for a while but this is the best reason to go again. That was a wonderful video and I just love the picture that you posted with the article. That is one set of very proud parents.

  8. Fonzy
    April 4, 2011, 9:10 am

    AWESOME! Thanks for sharing the birth of “Daniel” the new baby Giraffe. Would love a live webcam so we can see more and check in from time to time.