Baby Giraffe Makes his Zoo Debut
Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © Wildlife Conservation Society
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 29- A male Baringo giraffe calf is one of the newest animals at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo.
The young giraffe was born during the winter and lives in the zoo’s African Plains exhibit.
The giraffe’s mother is Margaret Sukari, and the father is James Michael. The Bronx Zoo names all of its giraffes in memory of Mr. and Mrs. James Carter, benefactors for whom the Carter Giraffe Building is named.
Newborn giraffes are approximately six feet tall at birth and can weigh more than 100 pounds. As adults, they can be more than 17 feet tall and weigh more than 3,000 pounds. Giraffes are the tallest animal in the world and have an 18-inch-long tongue that they use to grasp branches and pull leaves from trees.
The gestation period for a giraffe is 14 to 14.5 months. The newborn calf stands and starts walking within the first couple of hours of birth. The calf will nurse for approximately one year, but will begin eating some solid food at three months old. Eventually it will transition to a diet of leaves, alfalfa, hay, kale, pelleted grain, and other produce.
Giraffes are native to grasslands, savannas, 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 some populations are still robust, the overall population is declining. The Wildlife Conservation Society works across the globe and throughout the giraffe’s African range to save wildlife and wild places. WCS is working to protect giraffes in key African landscapes like Zakouma, Chad, Murchison Falls, Uganda, and in the Sahel of South Sudan.
To plan your trip, visit bronxzoo.com or call 718-367-1010.