UPDATE 04/16: The Houston Zoo’s five-day-old baby giraffe made her public debut on Good Friday (April 14). Mother Tyra and her calf frolicked in the main yard at the McGovern Giraffe Habitat, as seen in new photos shown above.
We admit it. We love giraffes. So our hearts melted when we saw these photos of the newest resident of the Houston Zoo.
Officials announced that a new female Masai giraffe was born at 9:04 am Monday in the zoo's McGovern Giraffe Barn at the African Forest. Her mom, Tyra, gave birth after a two-hour labor. Both Tyra and the yet-to-be-named calf are doing well and bonding behind the scenes as the zookeeper and veterinary teams monitor the duo.
The young giraffe, weighing 139 pounds and rising to 6 feet 3 inches tall, is expected to make her public debut in a few days.
Fewer than 80,000 giraffes remain in the world today as the number in the wild has dropped by 40 percent in the last decade. The Houston Zoo is currently home to six Masai giraffes.
Some giraffe factoids, supplied by the zoo:
- On average, giraffe pregnancies last from 14 to 15 months
- A newborn Masai giraffe calf typically weighs between 125 and 150 pounds at birth and measures approximately six feet tall
- Giraffes are the tallest living terrestrial animals, with the average male standing at 17 feet tall and weighing 2,500 pounds
- Females average more than 14 feet tall