As one baby giraffe makes zoo debut, another is born

As one baby giraffe makes zoo debut, another is born
Male calf is pictured with mom, Mia, during exhibit debut.

Zoo Miami’s 54th baby giraffe recently made his exhibit debut.

For the first time a yet unnamed male calf that was born on Apr. 2 walked out onto the exhibit with his mother and other members of the herd, curiously exploring his new surroundings. Until then, the newborn had been held inside a holding area with his mother to give them time to bond.

Prior to that the calf received a neonatal exam where, in addition to a general physical, he was weighed, had his blood collected and received a microchip for identification. He weighed a whopping 181 pounds and is the seventh baby born to Mia, his 14-year-old mother. The first-time father is a 4-year-old named Malcolm. This is the 54th giraffe born in the zoo’s history.

As this newborn was making his exhibit debut, Zuri, a 6 1/2-year-old female was giving birth behind the scenes to the 55th giraffe born in the zoo’s history. The baby, Zuri’s second, has been observed nursing very well. Malcolm also is the father, making this his second calf. A neonatal exam was performed and confirmed to be a healthy female weighing 119 pounds.

A giraffe has a pregnancy of approximately 15 months and the mother rarely, if ever, lies down while giving birth. The baby falls about 4-6 feet to the floor where it receives quite an abrupt introduction to the world. Newborns stand nearly six feet tall at birth.

The status of giraffe in the wild has recently been elevated from a “species of least concern” to “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to significant reductions in their populations over the past several years.

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