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Columbus Zoo Adds A Third Giraffe Calf to Their Herd

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: December 23, 2020 10:20 pm

columbus zoo giraffe calves

The three giraffe calves born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Photo Credit: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

They say good things come in threes and there is nothing bad about three giraffe calves. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium have welcomed their third giraffe calf for the year. This little one snuck in before the end of the year being born on Wednesday December 9th at 11.06am. The mother is known as Digi.


This calf joins the other two calves and the rest of their herd at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s Heart of Africa exhibit.


“It’s always an incredible achievement to welcome one giraffe into the world, but to welcome three—especially in one year–is truly a testament to the expertise and knowledge of our dedicated care team. Wildlife conservation is always complex because of the many challenges that these species face, and I am extremely proud of the contributions that the Columbus Zoo team continues to provide to the scientific community as we work together toward solutions to help endangered species. We are also deeply appreciative to our Central Ohio community for their support that enables us to continue this work to make a positive difference,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO Tom Stalf.

Keepers had been running a 24 hour birth watch knowing the birth was upcoming and they were able to observe the birth through a camera in the barn. They report that the calf appears healthy and well. She has been observed testing out her little “bunny hopping” and “running” (or “zoomies”) skills later in the day.


Mother, Digi came to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in 2018. This is her second calf after she welcomed a female known as Zoey during her time at Cincinnati Zoo in 2016.

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The father of all three calves born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium this year was 10 year old Enzi who came to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in 2013 after being born at the Toledo Zoo. Columbus Zoo has welcomed 23 giraffe calves over its history.


Digi gave birth after fellow herd members Zuri and Jana which gave birth on June 28th and August 26th respectively. This week their calves were given their names.

Zuri’s calf was given the name "Ralph" from long-time Zoo supporter Johanna DeStefano, who is honoring the life of her deceased husband who provided her with a lifetime of inspiration and support. As a former professor of sociolinguistics the meaning of the name, “counsel wolf” or “to heal,” feels just right and appropriate this year. Johanna’s generous support and passion ensures the Zoo can continue providing the best care and welfare for the giraffes and all of the animals.


A long-time and anonymous Columbus Zoo supporter won the opportunity to name Jana’s calf through an auction as part of the Wine for Wildlife conservation fundraising event, and she selected the name “Schaefer” in honor of her grandfather, John Schaefer. With the help of this donor’s generous support, the Zoo will be able fund more than 50 critical wildlife projects around the world.


Digi’s calf also received her name today and is now known as “Sammie” as a tribute to the daughter of generous donor and founder/owner of LeafFilter®, Matt Kaulig. LeafFilter® proudly named Digi previously, and they are excited for the opportunity to name her calf. The Kauligs’ support will help ensure Sammie and all of the Columbus Zoo animals receive top-quality care.


Currently the giraffe herd are spending winter in their heated barn. They will be back on display once the weather warms up once again.

columbus zoo giraffe calves
columbus zoo giraffe calves

A giraffe calf at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Photo Credit: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Learn more about giraffes here – Giraffe Fact File | The Animal Facts


Learn more about the Columbus Zoo on their website – Columbus Zoo

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