Baby Giraffe Born in Florida

On February 13, 2013 by Nelson Fernandez
Baby Giraffe born in Florida Brevard Zoo

Image courtesy of Brevard Zoo

How tall is the tallest baby you’ve ever seen? Surely not as tall as a baby giraffe. This funny-looking young lad is already quite leggy, and weighed 159 pounds when it was born – around a week ago in a Florida zoo.

Son of dad Raffiki, and mum Johari, this baby giraffe was born at Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, on Florida’s Space Coast. The good news is that this cute creature is perfectly healthy and it will be soon ready to mingle with the rest of the herd.

“The baby giraffe is doing very well,” said Trevor Zachariah, the veterinarian at Brevard Zoo. “A physical exam and various diagnostics were performed within the first 24 hours after birth, which confirmed he was a male and in good health. He had some mild weakness in one of his legs for the first two days, but that is now resolved.”

His mum, Johari, must be happy. Or as happy as a giraffe can be. But she is certainly not new to the mothering world, since this is her fifth birth. Two of her offspring have reached giraffe adolescence and have left home already. Melvin, 7, is at the the Metro Richmond Zoo and Stephanie, 5, is trying her luck at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Little Joey, 3, and his one-and-a-half year old sister, Zanibou, still live at Brevard Zoo.

Baby giraffe at Brevard Zoo

High love. Photo by David Saylor

Understandably, any giraffe birth is always a reason for celebration. Poaching and human population growth have increasingly put wild giraffes in danger, and their numbers have been dramatically reduced in the last decade. Additionally, this baby giraffe belongs to the Masai species, whose presence in zoos is not as widespread as other types, like the Reticulated or Rothschild groups.

Masai giraffes can grow as tall as 19 feet, and they’re famous for having a great heart. Literally. A heart that can weigh up to 25 pounds. They also live around 25 years in the wild and usually longer in captivity.

Melbourne offers beaches and golf courses aplenty. Their Independent Filmmaker’s Festival is well renowned, and so is the city’s own take on Oktoberfest. With over 650 animals from all over the world – and a very special new resident – Brevard Zoo is also a place to check out when visiting Melbourne.