Female Reticulated Giraffe Born at Niabi Zoo

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Female Reticulated Giraffe baby born on Sept. 9, 2011 at Niabi Zoo

Female Reticulated Giraffe Born at Niabi Zoo

Sept 9, 2011

Coal Valley, IL – September 9, 2011 - Niabi Zoo is extremely happy to announce the birth of its second female giraffe calf today, Friday, September 9, at 9:05 am.

The baby giraffe, which has not been named yet, was born to Mimi, Niabi Zoo’s 7 year old female. This is Mimi’s second baby. Kito, a male, was born in late 2009. The father is Kenya, a 5 year old male. The baby weighed in at 101 lbs and was standing and walking on her own after 1 hour and 10 minutes.

“Mimi and her new daughter are doing very well,” says Assistant Zoo Director Marc Heinzman. “The entire zoo staff is very excited. I think we all feel like we just had a daughter of our own be born.”

Mimi and her new daughter will be kept off display for about a week to allow the two time to bond in a quiet setting. After that time she will be out for public viewing.

The giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis, is the world’s tallest mammal. Average height for an adult giraffe is 14-19 feet and the average weight is 1,750 – 2,800 pounds. They are herbivores, using their 18 inch tongues to help pull leaves from the branches of tall trees. Although their necks are unusually long, they have only seven neck vertebrae, just like humans.

After a gestation of approximately 14 months, giraffes give birth standing up. The calf drops five to six feet to the ground. This fall helps the calf take its first breath. Calves can stand within one hour and run with their mothers within ten hours. Six feet tall at birth, calves weigh 100 – 150 pounds and can grow as much as an inch a day.


Marc Heinzman, Assistant Director
(309) 799-3482 ext 221

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