OKC Zoo Announces Birth of Endangered Giraffe Calf

Published: Dec. 7, 2016 at 3:56 PM CST
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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO)- The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden has welcomed a male giraffe calf early Monday morning. He is already more than 5 feet tall and is the fifth offspring born to 16-year-old mom Ellie and dad Bogy, who passed away in October 2015 at the age of 15 due to recurring gastrointestinal complications.

"Ellie is an experienced, doting mom, and her calf appears healthy and strong," said Laura Bottaro, Zoological curator. "This calf is special to the Zoo because Ellie became pregnant with Bogy's offspring before he passed away last year. We are thrilled to welcome his heir and it will be exciting to watch the calf grow up to be a special ambassador of his species, carrying on the legacy of our beloved Bogy."

The average gestation for a giraffe calf is approximately 15 months. Giraffes give birth while standing and the calf is born hooves-first. The calf proceeds to stand usually within one hour of birth.

There are four separate species of giraffe. The new addition is a Rothschild's giraffe. They are endangered with only 470 individuals remaining in the wild in isolated parts of Kenya and Uganda. The Rothschild is the tallest species of giraffe growing up to 20-feet tall and weighing as much as 2,500 pounds.

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