The Masai calf is the 22nd giraffe to be born at the conservation center throughout its history. Animal management staff are monitoring the calf, which they said appears to be strong.
The calf has an experienced mother, named Savannah, with this baby being her seventh. The father, named Raha, has sired 11 calves.
Savannah was born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in August 2003 and has lived at The Wilds since 2004. Raha was born at the Los Angeles Zoo in April 2006 and arrived at The Wilds from the Pittsburgh Zoo in 2009.
The breeding of the pair was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan. The program aims to improve the genetic health and diversity of endangered species.
Due to habitat loss, civil unrest, poaching and environmental changes, Masai giraffes are an endangered species. The population has dropped by nearly 50% in the last three decades.
To further protect the future of giraffes, The Wilds and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium have given more than $172,000 over the last five years to several conservation projects that aim to benefit giraffes in their native habitats.
“We are excited about the birth of this most recent calf and proud of the continued success of our giraffe breeding program,” said Dr. Joe Smith, Vice President of The Wilds. “The Wilds also plays an integral role in inspiring our guests to connect with wildlife and join us in taking action to help protect the future of threatened and endangered species. Births are always worth celebrating, especially as they contribute to our purpose of Empowering People. Saving Wildlife.”
Mother giraffes are pregnant for about 15 months and give birth standing up. The calves can typically stand and run on their own just a few hours after birth.
The Wilds is currently open daily through October.