The Houston Zoo welcomed a bouncing baby girl on Monday.
Weighing in at a whopping 160 pounds and standing at a towering 6-foot-3-inches, the larger-than-life female Masai giraffe was delivered by first-time mom, Asali, at the Houston Zoo’s McGovern Giraffe Habitat after three hours of labor.
“It’s always exciting when we have a new baby at the zoo, and when that baby is more than six feet tall, it’s an incredible moment,” said Houston Zoo Hoofed Stock Supervisor John Register in a statement.
Giraffe pregnancies average 14 to 15 months with female Masai giraffes expected to grow as tall as 14 feet.
The honor of naming the newest member of the Zoo herd will go to Jim Postl, Houston Zoo board of directors’ member, who won the naming rights during the live auction at the 2015 Zoo Ball.
A giraffe at the Houston Zoo has died after a brief but aggressive illness.
The birth brought happiness to the giraffe herd and zoo officials, who had mourned the death of Neema, an 8-year-old Masai giraffe, who passed away in May from an intestinal disease.
Over the last decade, the number of giraffes in the wild has dropped by 40 percent with less than 80,000 giraffes remaining. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, there are currently slightly over 100 Masai giraffes living in 28 North American zoos. The Houston Zoo is home to nine.
After a few days bonding with her mother, the new calf will make her public debut. Until then, you can see the newborn giraffe here at CultureMap in the photos above.