It’s a Boy!

It’s a Boy! After almost fifteen months Ellie, a 16-year-old giraffe has given birth to her fifth calf and second son! The little one arrived overnight on December 5, 2016.

All babies are cherished but this “little” guy holds a special spot in our hearts. Sadly his beloved father Bogy passed away last winter so it is wonderful to welcome his heir into our herd. He joins big sister Julu who turned one in June. I look forward to watching the siblings run and play.

The animal care staff and veterinary team conducted a well-baby check-up, a routine examination all baby animals receive shortly after they are born. With mom Ellie close by, the team held the calf gently while the veterinarians did a quick look over, treated his umbilicus, took a blood sample and fitted him with an identifying microchip. He looks strong and healthy!

Giraffes now join the plethora of species whose numbers are declining in the wild due to habitat loss and poaching. The Oklahoma City Zoo is dedicated to preserving giraffe by participating in the Species Survival Plan where animals are paired up according to their genetic compatibility. This calf is one of 55 giraffes born over the years at the Zoo since the first recorded birth in 1965.

Because our newest addition is a “winter” baby, you won’t see him out unless the weather is 55 degrees and sunny. Giraffes are very susceptible to cool temperatures and he needs to stay at a toasty 70 degrees for the first week or so. The rest of the herd will be out at 55 degrees with access to the barn until the calf is older.

Happy Holidays!

– Laura Bottaro, zoological curator

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