Look, a Baby Giraffe!

Baby_Giraffe_020414-0006-6620A fresh, teeny-tiny giraffe at the Houston zoo…

Our very own local zoo sent out a very cute announcement yesterday!

The Houston Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a male Masai giraffe. Mom Tyra delivered the healthy male calf shortly before 1 p.m. on Tuesday at the McGovern Giraffe Habitat at The African Forest following a 14 month pregnancy.

“Tyra went into labor at approximately 10:45 AM on Tuesday, February 4 and delivered her baby boy at 12:49 p.m.,” said Houston Zoo Giraffe Senior Keeper Kim Siegl.  “The calf was standing on his own by 1:17 p.m. and was nursing by 1:57 p.m.,” added Siegl.

“The calf weighs 165 pounds and is 6 and a half feet tall. He’s a big healthy boy,” said Siegl.  This is 15 year old Tyra’s eighth calf.  The proud father, Mtembei is 6 years old.  With this new arrival, the Houston Zoo’s herd of Masai giraffe has grown to 9, including 6 males and 3 females.

The giraffe keepers who cared for Tyra during her pregnancy and were present for the birth will have the honor of naming the newest addition to the Houston Zoo’s giraffe herd.

Giraffe numbers in the wild appear to have plummeted by 40% over the last decade. There are currently slightly over 100 Masai giraffe living in 28 North American zoos according to the statistics available from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Giraffes are the tallest living terrestrial animal.  The average male is about 17 feet tall and can weigh 3,000 pounds, while an average female is over 14 feet tall.  On average, a new born Masai giraffe calf typically weighs between 125 and 150 pounds at birth and stands approximately 6 feet tall.

About the Houston Zoo

Founded in 1922, the Houston Zoo is an exciting live animal adventure that provides a unique educational and conservation resource serving more than 2 million guests annually.  Set in a 55-acre lush tropical landscape, the Zoo is home to more than 6,000 exotic animals representing more than 800 species.  Visitors can experience the wonders of Africa at The African Forest, the new 6.5 acre, $40 million addition featuring chimps, rhinos, and giraffes.  Travel to Africa.  No Passport Required.

The Houston Zoo is located at 6200 Hermann Park Drive in beautiful Hermann Park.  The Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during Central Standard Time (last admission at 5 p.m.) and from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. during Central Daylight Time (last admission at 6 p.m.).  The Zoo is closed Christmas Day.  Regular admission is $15 for adults, $8.50 for seniors, $11 for children ages 2-11 and FREE for children under 2.  Visit the courtesy booth at your neighborhood Fiesta Mart and purchase an adult Zoo admission for $13 and a child Zoo admission for $10.  Zoo memberships start at only $65.  For information on all the great benefits of becoming a Zoo member visit our Web site at http://www.houstonzoo.org/membership/.

Ride METRORail to the Houston Zoo from the Fannin South Park and Ride lot.  With frequent service, METRORail is a convenient answer to traffic congestion in the Texas Medical Center/Hermann Park/Museum District corridor.  For METRORail information, visit www.ridemetro.org.

Operated by the not-for-profit Houston Zoo, Inc., the Houston Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of endangered species, the provision of engaging educational opportunities and the creation of stimulating exhibits that broaden the experiences of our guests and encourage their curiosity.

The Houston Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things.  With 222 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.  For more information visit www.aza.org.