It’s a girl! Birth of a baby giraffe at the Living Desert in Palm Desert
We learned the sex of the calf… it’s a girl!
“This sweet giraffe has captured the hearts of the community,” said RoxAnna Breitigan, Director of Animal Care. “Many of our guests were seated in the front row along the guest walkway and hearing their collective excitement as the calf was born and started to stand was a real treat.”
“The calf is in good health and is bonding well with mum. She weighed 143 pounds and was 5ft 10in tall when she had her checkup this morning,” noted Dr. Andrea Goodnight, chief veterinarian at The Living Desert. “Shellie is doing very well as a first-time mother.
The calf is expected to be reintroduced to the Giraffe Savannah next week.
The living desert is now home to a herd of 10 giraffes.
Original report 02/21/22:
We have a new baby giraffe at the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens in Palm Desert.
Zoo officials said the baby giraffe was born Monday morning in the giraffe savannah habitat. The calf was born to mom and dad for the first time, Shellie and Kelley. The calf was up and walking less than an hour after birth.
“What an exciting morning,” said RoxAnna Breitigan, director of animal care. “Many of our guests were seated in the front row along the guest route, and we are happy that so many were able to witness such an incredible show today.”
Officials said the calf and its mother are bonding well. The two are currently in the backstage barn under the close supervision of the animal care team.
The zoo is working to determine the sex of the calf. He has a health check scheduled for Tuesday morning where the zoo’s veterinary team will perform a health assessment.
In the past, donors could choose the name of the giraffes. The last calf we reported was in 2019 when Vicki Lou was born.
The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens will continue to provide updates on the calf.
The birth of the calf is a successful outcome of the Species Survival Plan (SSP®) recommendation, which ensures genetic sustainability and species diversity in human care. The gestation of the giraffe lasts about 15 months. The calf will now suckle for nine to 12 months and start eating foliage at about four months. The giraffe will double in size in the first year of its life. Giraffes have their own individual dot markings and no two giraffes have the same pattern, similar to the unique fingerprints of humans.
To find out more about the zoo, including its giraffe safari, visit: https://www.livingdesert.org/
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