The Los Angeles Zoo’s newborn Masai giraffe sure is punctual: The female calf arrived just in time for World Giraffe Day, which is observed on Thursday, June 21. Welcome to the world, baby!
The sweet girl, who has not yet been named, was born on May 15, 2018, to mama giraffe Hasina and father Phillip. Currently weighing in at 176 lbs. and standing about 6 ft. tall, the leggy young lady is a tall order of cuteness. She is the fourth calf for her 9-year-old mother, and the third for her 6-year-old dad.
“She is one of the largest calves we’ve had born at the L.A. Zoo since I started working here in 2005,” said Mike Bona, animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo, in a press release from the animal park. “It is great timing that she was born before World Giraffe Day. Not only does her birth help continue the Zoo’s efforts in its giraffe breeding program, but it also gives us an opportunity to educate guests on giraffe conservation and the current threats that the species faces in the wild.”
The baby’s parents were coupled together by the Species Survival Plan (SSP) program, which works to breed Masai giraffes in hopes of ensuring the survival of the species, which is threatened in the wild. The zoo celebrates this birth even more so on World Giraffe Day, which is a “holiday” focusing on conservation efforts encompassing various giraffe subspecies.
Giraffes are renowned for being the tallest land mammal, and the Masai subspecies can mature to 17 ft. tall and 2,700 lbs. They are the largest of the nine giraffe subspecies and native to East Africa, specifically southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. These majestic animals are currently categorized as a vulnerable population in decline due to threats such as habitat loss, illegal hunting and disease.
Visitors wishing to celebrate the new calf and her giraffe herd should check out the L.A. Zoo’s website for information about interactive feeding experiences and more.
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