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Columbus Zoo welcomes birth of endangered Masai giraffe

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is keeping the giraffe calf and his mom, Zuri, behind closed doors while they bond.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed the newest member of their giraffe family on Aug. 31 - a male Masai giraffe.

The calf was born at 2:45 p.m. to mom, 12-year-old Zuri, signifying a great achievement for the endangered species. 

The newborn was standing shortly after birth, according to a release from the zoo. Animal health and animal care teams have reported that the calf seems to be healthy and well fed.

While the mom and baby boy calf bond in the Giraffe Barn at the zoo, zookeepers will begin slowly introducing him to members of the herd.

“We are always thrilled to welcome the birth of a giraffe. Twenty-two giraffes have been born at the Columbus zoo over the course of our history, but this latest birth—our 23rd—is particularly special," said Shannon Borders, Curator of the Zoo’s Heart of Africa region. 

Credit: Amanda Carberry, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

"We were heartbroken to lose Enzi, and this calf is such an amazing gift to us and to the future of all Masai giraffes. This little one is truly our miracle baby, and it warms our hearts that Enzi’s legacy continues to live on to have such a positive impact."

Enzi, the father of all four calves that have been born within the last two years at the zoo, was put down in September of 2021 due to chronic and deteriorating health issues.

Zuri is doing well with the calf and will be behind closed doors while the two bond.

Credit: Amanda Carberry, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

“From our successful giraffe breeding program, contributions to field conservation projects, and leadership in Animal Health initiatives benefiting giraffes, we are fully committed to making a difference for Masai giraffes and other species that rely on their place in nature. None of this would be possible without the support of our community, and we are grateful and proud to be able to help provide our community with a connection to nature so that together we can make a global impact,” said Columbus zoo President and CEO Tom Schmid.

Visitors will still be able to see other members of the giraffe family daily and participate in $5 giraffe feedings daily.

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