MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Spring is in the air and the baby boom continues at Zoo Miami! Over the past few days, two baby giraffes, one male and one female, were born nearly back-to-back at the zoo. However, these aren’t your average babies — they both stood nearly six feet tall at birth.
According to Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill, a male giraffe calf, born on April 2, took his first steps on Monday as he walked out onto the exhibit at Zoo Miami with his mother and other members of the herd, curiously exploring his new surroundings. “Until yesterday, the newborn had been held inside a holding area with his mother to give them time to bond,” says Magill.
On Sunday, 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,” adds Magill. “The first-time father is a 4-year-old named Malcolm. This is the 54th giraffe born in the zoo’s history.”
According to Magill, as this newborn was making his exhibit debut, Zuri, a 6 ½-year-old female was giving birth behind the scenes to the 55th giraffe born in the zoo’s history.
The baby, Zuri’s second, was born Monday, April 5 at approximately 10:30 a.m. Malcolm is also the father, making this his second calf. A neonatal exam was performed this morning and it is confirmed to be a healthy female weighing 119 pounds. Should everything continue to go well, this baby and mother will join the herd on exhibit tomorrow.
The photos, taken by Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill, capture both babies, one of them during his first moments on the exhibit with the herd on Monday and the other taken minutes after the baby was born as it took its first steps at about the same time.
Baby giraffe born at Zoo Miami! This male calf, born on Friday, weighed a whopping 181 lbs. and stood almost 6 ft. tall! After a pregnancy of 15 months, mom gives birth standing up and the calf falls 4-6 feet to the floor!! Welcome to the world! pic.twitter.com/HhQyETW1KU— Ron Magill (@RonMagill) April 6, 2021
According to Magill, giraffes have a pregnancy of approximately 15 months and the mother rarely, if ever, lies down while giving birth. During birth, the baby falls about 4-6 feet to the floor. Newborns stand nearly 6 feet tall at birth.
Unfortunately, the status of the giraffe has become direr in the wild. “The status of giraffes 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),” says Magill. This is due to significant reductions in their populations over the last several years.