Detroit Zoo Thrilled With Arrival of Giraffe Calf

First Posted: Oct 04, 2014 04:00 AM EDT

Officials at Detroit Zoo welcomed a reticulated giraffe born after a 15-month gestation period.

The Zoo was thrilled with the arrival of the reticulated giraffe born on Sept. 30 at 6.45 P.M. after a 15 month gestation. The unnamed calf was born to 5-year mother Kivuli and 6-year old father Jabari.

Born outdoors in the giraffe habitat, the newly born calf took its first steps an hour after its birth and nursed throughout the night. The entire birthing process was monitored by the animal care staff. Both the mother and the calf are under continuous observation and the calf will be shifted in the giraffe building once the temperatures drop.  It will explore the outdoors on warmer days along with its mothers.

"The calf appears strong and healthy, all legs and very curious," said Scott Carter, Detroit Zoological Society chief life sciences officer. "Kivuli is showing great maternal care; she's very attentive and affectionate."

The gender of the calf will be revealed after the first veterinary examination. The calf weighs 150 pounds and stands more than 5 feet tall.  Giraffes give birth to their newborns standing and the calf falls more than 5 feet, enough to break the umbilical cord. 

The giraffe (Giraffa Camelopardalis), tallest of the land mammals, are native to Africa and are mainly found south of the Sahara to eastern Transvaal, Natal and northern Botswana. They can reach up to a height of 20 feet and an adult weighs up to 2,500 pounds. 

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