Animal lovers around the world are in for an exciting St.Patrick’s Day weekend! April the giraffe gave birth to her baby giraffe at the Animal Adventure Park in New York just before 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
A hoof emerged shortly before 11 a.m. By 11:45 a.m., two hooves could be seen. And April gave birth to a male calf at approximately 12:43 p.m., the park said in a news release.
“Success! With an average 15-month gestation, we are thankful to have a healthy calf on the ground, nursing and bonding with mom. With wild giraffe numbers plummeting annually, every calf born counts,” Jordan Patch, owner of Animal Adventure Park, said. “Captive management programs, with successful propagation initiatives, hold the bloodlines that can someday repopulate natural ranges, should we as humans learn to preserve and protect natural environments and their inhabitants. We are happy to be doing our part, as a small piece in a much larger puzzle that is conservation!”
April garnered worldwide attention in 2017 when she gave birth to Tajiri. More than 1.2 people tuned in live to witness his birth. The park said more than 300,000 people watched their video of new calf’s birth, which was live streamed on YouTube.
Many are probably wondering what to expect after its much-anticipated birth, so we’ve compiled a few baby giraffe facts that will help you get to know the young calf as it grows.
How big will the newborn be once it’s born?
Well, according to Animal Planet, a giraffe calf is usually born weighing between 100 and 150 pounds, measuring in at 6 feet tall. The average gestation period for a giraffe is 15 months, but April has been baking her baby in the oven for 17 months now, two months past her due date. This baby could come out pretty big.
How has the zoo prepared for her birth?
Usually, zookeepers work with giraffes for years to prepare them for birth by getting them used to technology and devices used during the delivery process that keep the baby and the mother safe. Sometimes they use a restraint device (GRD), which keeps giraffes in place for ultrasounds and delivery in case of emergencies.
When do giraffes start to walk?
It only takes about 30 minutes to an hour after birth for a calf to start standing and walking. Their mobility is necessary for them to be able to nurse from their mother. Within the first day, they are expected to run.
What’s in the baby’s diet? And how long do they nurse from their mothers?
As previously mentioned, a newborn giraffe begins nursing from his mother shortly after birth. After four months, they start eating solid food like leaves and continue nursing for 9 to 12 months. Weaning ages vary 6 to 17 months.
What are some other fun facts about giraffes?
- There are 9 subspecies of giraffe, the most common being the Rothschild’s.
- Giraffes are herbivores with diets mostly consisting of leaves
- They only need to drink water once every few days since they are hydrated by the leaves.
- Giraffes eat approximately 75 pounds of food each day
- They only need 30 minutes to two hours of sleep per day
- Giraffes can defend themselves from scary predators like lions with their strong-hooved feet, but it doesn’t seem like April’s baby will ever find herself in this situation.
- They can run at speeds up to 35 miles per hour
- Giraffes are the world’s tallest mammals, standing up to 20 feet tall.