The pitter-patter of little hooves has been lighting up faces and fueling smiles at Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo since the announcement was made that a male giraffe calf had been born on July 14, 2023.
While an official name has not yet been announced for the adorable juvenile, he was seen standing on his own within an hour of his birth, according to a representative from FPZ. It was also noted that he immediately began nursing from his mother, Amari. His dad, Chad, came to Franklin Park from the Santa Barbara Zoo back in 2018. The two were recommended as breeding partners, and they obviously did a bang-up job of it.
Franklin Park Zoo
According to their website, “Zoo New England is an active participant in the Masai Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).”
They go on to note that by sharing the gathered research and knowledge groups acquire, “participating institutions work together to establish guidelines that best ensure the health of captive populations, and with success, the survival of endangered species.”
Masai giraffe, sometimes referred to as Kilimanjaro giraffe, are a species native to East Africa. They can be found in central and southern Kenya and Tanzania, where it is considered the national animal. These particular giraffes have what are described as distinctive jagged, leaf-like blotches extending from their hooves all the way to their horned heads.
“Amari is an attentive mother, and the calf appears healthy and strong,” shared Chris Bartos, an Assistant Curator at the Zoo. “The dedicated care team has been closely monitoring the mother and baby since the birth. The calf has been nursing well and is curious about his surroundings.” Both of which are good signs.
Out of Africa
The Masai is the largest-bodied giraffe species, leaving it the tallest land animal on the planet. Bulls weigh close to 2,900 pounds and grow up to 18 feet in height. In the wild, they can live to be approximately 30 years of age and, in most cases, live longer in captivity. The animal’s most famous feature is its neck, which contains seven vertebrae and makes up roughly one-third of its overall body height!
Considered one of Africa’s most iconic and beloved species, the birth of the calf is a reason for celebration at the zoo and a significant milestone in the ongoing conservation efforts for this endangered species. Sadly, the global population of these creatures has declined by as much as 40 percent over the last 30 years, and more needs to be done. Check out the video below.Whizzco