The baby giraffe, a male, was born to Hogle Zoo giraffes Kipenzi (six-years-old) and Riley (six-years-old). First-time mother Kipenzi had the baby outdoors in the yard which she shares with another female giraffe. Right now, the baby seems small next to the full-sized giraffes, but during its first week of life will grow nearly one inch per day. Baby giraffes weigh about 110 pounds and can rise to their feet and nurse within hours of birth. They can also run before they are 24 hours old.
The new giraffe baby was expected this summer, and Kipenzi appeared she was going into labor just before noon Thursday. By about 12:30 she had successfully delivered her first baby. Less than an hour later, the baby giraffe was standing for the first time.
“The delivery went very well,” said Dr. Nancy Carpenter Hogle Zoo Associate Director-Animal Health. She adds, “It took about an hour and a half from start to finish. Shortly after birth the giraffe was working to stand, and it already seems that Kipenzi is a good mom who is bonding well with her baby.” Giraffes have no specific breeding season, and give birth after a gestation of about 14 to 15 months.
Quick Giraffe Facts: Adult males usually are about 17 feet tall, weighing as much as 3,000 pounds, with necks that can measure 6 l/2 feet long. The pattern of spots on every giraffe is unique and is used to tell one from another.