A ‘miracle baby’ giraffe is born at the Columbus Zoo

“Not only is the calf fiercely cute, but its birth is particularly significant as it marks a significant achievement for the future of this endangered species,” the zoo said.

After a few failed attempts, the baby boy was able to stand up, take a few steps and suckle shortly after birth, the zoo says.

The day after it was born, zoo staff performed a wellness exam and confirmed the calf was in good health.

Maasai giraffes are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There are about 35,000 subspecies left in Tanzania and Kenya, but their populations are declining due to illegal hunting and habitat destruction, the organization says.
The baby’s parents, Zuri and Enzi, were matched as part of the Species Survival Plan, a program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to ensure endangered species maintain genetic diversity. The calf’s father was euthanized in 2021 due to chronic health issues, the zoo says.

The newborn is slow to come: the giraffes have been pregnant for 15 months, according to the zoo.

The “miracle baby” is the 23rd giraffe born at the Columbus Zoo, according to the statement.

“We were heartbroken to lose Enzi, and this little one is an incredible gift for us and for the future of all Masai giraffes,” said Shannon Borders, curator of the Heart of Africa region at the Columbus Zoo, in the zoo’s press release. “This little one is truly our miracle baby, and it warms our hearts that Enzi’s legacy lives on to have such a positive impact.”

The birth of the calf is just one part of the zoo’s efforts to improve the Masai giraffe population, the statement said.

“Through our successful giraffe breeding program, our contributions to on-the-ground conservation projects, and our leadership in animal health initiatives to benefit giraffes, we are fully committed to making a difference for Maasai giraffes. and other species that depend on their place in the wild,” the Columbus Zoo president said. and CEO Tom Schmid in the statement.

Guests will not yet be able to see the mother and baby, but the rest of the herd of giraffes are still on display, the zoo added.


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