INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Zoo (Indy Zoo) is welcoming a new member to their giraffe family!
Indy Zoo said at 4:35 a.m. Sunday, November 8, a male reticulated giraffe was born.
Zoo officials said the unnamed calf weighed 137 lbs and stood about 6’ tall at birth!
The newborn is the first calf for 3-year-old mother Kita. Indy Zoo said Kita had a 14-month pregnancy, and gave birth standing up, as female giraffes do.
Zookeepers said the new guy is curious, follows his mom close behind and is nursing well.
Although giraffe patterns are unique, the Zoo said the calf takes after his father, 10-year-old Majani, and has similar patches of lighter, caramel-color.
Other members of the giraffe herd want to interact with the calf — even licking him through the fence!
The newborn will be an ambassador and help to raise awareness for conservation of the species, said the Zoo. The giraffe herd will spend much of the winter inside its climate-controlled indoor facility, and is expected to make its debut in the spring.
Indy Zoo said guests will have an opportunity to meet members of the herd up close in springtime during public feeds.
Officials said the calf is already growing and will be several feet taller before his first birthday.
More giraffe facts from Indy Zoo:
- While their arrival into the world is somewhat abrupt, newborn giraffes are extremely resilient and are typically up on their feet in less than an hour.
- Native to Sub-Saharan Africa, giraffes bear a beautiful coat of brown spots that helps provide camouflage on the arid plains.
- The tallest mammal on land, giraffes are one of Africa’s most iconic species, yet they are still vulnerable to extinction.
- To support a healthy population of animals in human care, the Zoo maintains an active giraffe breeding program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.