ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — The Abilene Zoo has some exciting news! Three of their giraffes are expecting calves this year!
Giraffes Asha, Sunny and Jamie are all well into the 15-month gestation period. Zoo officials say Asha is the furthest along and could give birth as early as September, and the other two are expected to calve in the fall or winter, possibly even the beginning of next year.
All three calves are fathered by the same giraffe, Mesi, a Rothschild giraffe bull.
In September of 2016, the Abilene Zoo experienced their first successful giraffe calf birth in their new specialized Giraffe Safari exhibit.
Male calf Mananasi was born to mother Punk as part of the Abilene Zoo’s breeding program.
KTAB and KRBC will continue to monitor all three giraffe pregnancies! Stick with BigCountryHomepage for the latest information!
The following fun facts about pregnant giraffes and their calves were provided by the Abilene Zoo:
- The average gestation period is 15 months.
- A baby giraffe is called a calf.
- Usually only one calf is born, although twins have been recorded.
- Newborn calves grow quickly and can nearly double their height in the first year.
- Giraffes give birth standing up, requiring the newborn to fall about six feet to the ground.
- A calf can stand and run within an hour of being born.
- Newborns average 6 feet tall.
- Calves will suckle mother’s milk as soon as they stand.
- Calves are reliant on mother’s milk for up to a year.