COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Wilds announced on Friday that the newest addition to the Masai giraffes, a male calf, was born in the late evening hours on Aug. 26, marking the 23rd giraffe calf born at the conservation center.
The calf was born to parents Raha, born at the Los Angeles Zoo in 2006, and Lulu, who was born at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden in 2012. This is Lulu’s third calf and Raha’s 12th.
The calf was standing soon after he was born and began nursing from his mother. The care team at the conservation center reports that he is strong and healthy.
The other latest baby, born on Aug. 17, was a female calf born to 20-year-old Savannah and Raha.
The calves and mothers are housed in the same area currently, which The Wilds says has resulted in “excited zoomies.”
The breeding of both giraffe pairs was based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, which is a program designed to increase the genetic health and diversity of threatened and endangered species in professional care.
“Every birth of an endangered species is important, and welcoming two Masai giraffe calves is particularly special,” said Dr. Joe Smith, Vice President of The Wilds. “We are proud of the continued success of our giraffe program, and we look forward to seeing the calves play and interact with one another, grow, and further contribute to the conservation of their species.”
Calves are born after a gestation period of approximately 15 months. The mother gives birth standing up, and calves can stand and run on their own within a few hours of birth.
The giraffes are now in the barn while their pasture shelter is completed as part of the conservation center’s commitment to enhance their care and wellbeing.