If you think you’ve seen cute, get ready, this is pretty high up there. The Bronx Zoo has released in a statement that the newest addition to their wildlife family, a newborn female Baringo giraffe, will make its public debut in the zoo’s “African Plains” area next week. Approximately 6 feet tall and weighing more than 100 pounds at birth, it could eventually grow to 16 feet and as much as 2,600 pounds.
The new Miami Zoo giraffe has just been examined by a vet and gave the workers a bit of a hard time when it was time for her shots. “This baby is a kicker, she is pretty large, close to 150 pounds, like I said, close to six-feet tall,” said Communications Director of Zoo Miami, Ron Magill. “She seems to be tremendously healthy, a lot of fire in her. She gave the keepers quite a challenge just to hold her to get the exam done.”
Good news is the exam seemed to have gone well. “This baby looks healthy, her heart sounds good, her umbilicus is nice and clean and dry, so we don’t have any signs of an infection in her umbilicus,” said Zoo Miami veterinarian Chris Miller. “We took some blood to make sure that all her organs are functioning normally and she’s not anemic, and we gave her her vaccinations.” which is great news since scientists have reported that only a quarter of infants survive their first year of life in the wild.
Neither of the babies have been named yet but are seemingly thriving with the care of their mothers. Giraffes carry the baby for 15 months and their first act as babies is to plummet 5 feet to the ground as giraffes tend to stand up while giving birth. “When a human baby is born in a hospital, you want to spank that baby, you want to hear it cry, ‘Waaah, waaah,’ get those lungs cleared,” communications director at the Miami Zoo, Ron Magill, told WSVN 7. “There’s no bed out in the middle of the African bush, but when you fall four to six feet to the floor, what happens? ‘Gasp,’ you start breathing. It’s nature’s way to get that baby kick-started.”
Giraffes are generally native to east, central, and southern Africa, while the Baringo giraffe is found in eastern Uganda and western Kenya. Although the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) is working to protect giraffes in African landscapes like Zakouma, Chad; in the Sahel of South Sudan; and Murchison Falls, Uganda, the worldwide population of giraffes is decreasing.