UPDATE: 12:30 p.m. | The giraffe born at Woodland Park Zoo Tuesday night is a boy, zoo officials announced today.
The unnamed calf stands is 6 feet tall and weighs 144 pounds. The youngster was born August 6 at 7:03 p.m. to 6-year-old Olivia after a gestation period of just over 15 months.
The calf is nursing the way he should be and the mother is passing her antibodies on to her newborn as expected, according to Dr. Darin Collins, the zoo’s director of animal health. “The first 24 to 72 hours are critical for giraffe calves, but so far he seems to be doing well,” said Collins.
Within an hour and a half of birth, the calf was standing and nursing – good signs, animal curator Martin Ramirez said yesterday
In the wild, the bonding helps the mother and baby recognize each other by smell in a large herd..
The mother and child could be available to view as early as this weekend, but it’s up to the animals whether they exit into the public viewing area or stay in the hidden enclosures.
The calf does not yet have a name, and the zoo has not determined whether the public, a donor or a zookeeper will name it. This year, the father, Chioke, died of a stomach defect acquired early in life, and Ramirez said there has been some desire to name the baby in his honor.
Ramirez said the birth was “all mother nature” and not the result of insemination.
The zoo has welcomed the birth of numerous babies in the past six months, including a lion, a jaguar, a sloth bear and otter cubs, and one North American porcupine.
Video from Woodland Park Zoo produced by Ryan Hawk.