Giraffe Calf Born at the Zoo

Great Plains Zoo
Published: September 4, 2012, 5:01 PM

The Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History is pleased to announce the birth of a Reticulated Giraffe calf. 

On Sunday, Sept. 2, the Zoo’s 13-year-old Reticulated Giraffe “Libby” gave birth to her fourth calf, a male weighing 147 pounds and standing about six feet tall.  The Zoo’s animal care staff monitored the birth from the lobby of the Giraffe Barn.    

After a 15-month gestation, giraffes give birth standing up, and the calves drop more than five feet to the ground.  The fall doesn’t hurt the calf; it just causes it to take a breath.  After about an hour, the calf can stand up and walk.    

“The birth of a giraffe calf is latest in a long list of significant births we’ve had in the past year,” said Elizabeth A. Whealy, President and CEO of the Great Plains Zoo.  “This is an exciting time for the Zoo, as we work to help create healthy populations of these precious animals.” 

In the last several months, the Zoo has also welcomed three Red Wolf pups and two Red Panda cubs. 

At present, the calf and his mother can be seen at the Giraffe Barn.  In the coming months, they will be viewable on the Zoo’s African Savannah.

The Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with the last admission at 6 p.m. Visit the Zoo online at www.greatzoo.org or call 605-367-7003 for more information about the Zoo and Museum.