The Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum in Alabama, USA have welcomed a giraffe calf into their family. The calf was born on March 23rd to first time mum, Ashley and three time father, Willy.
After the birth Ashley and the calf spent a month off display. This gave mum a chance to bond with her new calf and nurture it. This time is valuable as part of the calf’s overall well-being and health. On April 22nd they went on display for the first time.
Recently the calf received the name Connye.
The calf is a reticulated giraffe otherwise known as the Somali giraffe. At the zoo they live in the African realm habitat whereas in the wild they make their home in Somalia, southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya.
Reticulated giraffes are one of the most popular giraffe subspecies. They stand 16-20ft (5-6m) tall as adults. This calf is currently closer to 6ft (1.8m). When it was born it would have dropped down to the Earth as giraffe’s calve standing up. Keepers prepared for the birth by spreading several inches of sand over the floor of the giraffe’s night quarters so Ashley had a secure footing.
Newborn giraffes weigh in at 220lbs (100kg) and over their first they double in weight.
Giraffe mothers are pregnant for 15 months. When they are ready to give birth they will return to the same place where they were born.
Photo Credits: Montgomery Zoo