Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: September 22, 2021 4:50 am
Photo Credit: The Wilds
The Wilds in Ohio are celebrating the birth of a Masai giraffe calf which arrived on September 8th 2021. This is the 20th calf to be welcomed in to the conservation centers herd.
Animal management staff have been monitoring the calf since birth and it appears to be strong and tall. The calf is already able to explore outside though the barn is open so mom can bring him in if needed.
The father of the calf is Raha and the mother is Savannah. Raha has welcomed nine calves and before moving to the Wilds in 2009 lived at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Mother Savannah came to The Wilds in 2004 from her birthplace at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. She is an experienced mother having welcomed six calves.
Raha and Savannah were paired by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a program designed to increase the genetic health and diversity of threatened and endangered species in human care.
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“The arrival of this calf is exciting on many levels. Of course, it is always heartwarming to welcome an adorable calf to the herd, but it’s the hope that his birth represents for the future of his subspecies that carries the deepest meaning. We are proud to play an active role in efforts to help protect giraffes and to continue working to inspire our guests to join us in taking action to help ensure that these amazing animals are around for generations to come,” said Dr. Jan Ramer, Senior Vice President of Animal Care and Conservation at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and Vice President of The Wilds.
In 2019 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the Masai giraffe subspecies as endangered. Over the last three decades the species has been declined in population by as much as half. As few as 35,000 are thought to remain following habitat loss, unrest, poaching and ecological changes in their habitat.
Giraffe mothers give birth standing up at the end of a 15 month gestation period. Calves are up and running within hours of birth.
The Wilds and their operators the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium have provided over $265,200 over the last five years to support conservation of the giraffe in the wild.
Guests visiting the park may be able to see the calf during either an Open-Air Safari Tour, presented by G&J Pepsi, or a Wildside Tour, presented by AEP Ohio.
Photo Credit: The Wilds