COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed the first giraffe calf born at the facility in nearly 20 years on Tuesday morning, October 30, 2018.
The birth was caught live on one of two live cameras placed by National Geographic in the giraffe enclosure in the zoo’s Heart of Africa region.
Two Columbus Zoo giraffes were expecting, 8-year-old Zuri and 6-year-old Cami.
According to the Columbus Zoo, mother Zuri gave birth to her calf in a behind-the-scenes area in the Heart of Africa region on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.
Zuri, an 8-year-old female Masai giraffe, came to Columbus in 2013 after living at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio and the Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin, Texas, where she was born. Father, Enzi, is the 8-year-old breeding male Masai giraffe, and he arrived at the Columbus Zoo in 2013 after first being at The Wilds and the Toledo Zoo, where he was born.
The pairing of Enzi with Zuri was based on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) for giraffes.
“I am extremely proud of our dedicated animal care team members, who—due to the incredible bonds they share with the animals—have been able to provide top quality care around the clock to both Cami and Zuri throughout their pregnancies, with additional support from our wonderful volunteers,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO Tom Stalf. “We certainly have a lot to celebrate with the arrival of this calf, and we also look forward to welcoming (Cami’s) calf soon as these births mark an important achievement in helping to protect the future of giraffes.”
The zoo is continuing to monitor Cami for when she gives birth.
Giraffes typically have a gestation period of around 15 months and will give birth to the calf while standing up. Newborn calves can weigh anywhere from 100-150 pounds and are, on average, around 6 feet tall.
This is the first giraffe born at the Heart of Africa since it opened in 2014. National Geographic reports nineteen giraffes have been born at the zoo in total. iframe allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″ height=”576″ mozallowfullscreen=”” src=”https://video.nest.com/embedded/live/cLv48HKyke” webkitallowfullscreen=”” width=”720″>