New Baby Giraffe Grace
Posted in: Baby Animals, Goings on, News
Safari West welcomes its newest herd member, a giraffe girl born on October 30th! Her name is Grace, after our owner Peter Lang’s granddaughter.
After a gestation of almost 15 months, mother Malaika was ready to give birth. Giraffe calving can last up to two hours, but this time the baby was born in a quick, smooth 35 minutes. Giraffes give birth standing up, so Grace started her life like all giraffes do—with a six foot fall down to the ground. But, she was up on her feet and nursing from Malaika within an hour.
Giraffe caregiver Ellie Gressman says that Grace is very mobile, looks strong, is curious, and is doing great overall. She also says that Malaika’s experience and patience as a mom has been extremely helpful, making it easy for caregivers to provide the care they need to the new baby. Shortly after birth, Grace was given a full neonatal exam and a clean bill of health by Safari West veterinarian Dr. Cehrs. Giraffes typically weigh between 100 – 200 pounds and are about 5 – 6 feet tall at birth, and Grace was no different, born weighing 127 pounds and measuring 5 feet 9 inches tall.
Grace has three older siblings here at Safari West that are all curious to meet her. She is currently in a nursery area with Malaika during the day, and every few minutes one of our other giraffes will walk over and reach their neck over the fence, watching the new baby explore the world. Grace gets more inquisitive every day, and has already been observed zooming around her mom and chasing visiting guinea fowl. We are looking forward to watching her size and personality grow!
Photos, besides the ones of Dr. Cehrs., DVM with Grace, were taken by Mark Pressler. The video uses clips from animal caregivers Ellie Gressman and Tamara Cooke.