NORFOLK, Va. – The Virginia Zoo welcomed a female Masai giraffe calf on Monday!
The calf weighed 141 pounds at birth and stands almost six feet tall. This is the sixth giraffe to be born to the mother, Imara and seventh for dad, Billy.
The Virginia Zoo says that the calf was standing within two hours of birth and has been observed by Animal Care Staff nursing from Imara.
The experienced mom is taking great care of the newborn, but they may remain inside with access to an outside holding yard, to bond for up to a few weeks before being introduced to the exhibit.
“We’re so excited to see the birth of the world’s tallest land mammal here at the Zoo,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo. “This perfectly coincides with the addition of our life-size giraffe sculpture at the Zoo’s entrance which gives visitors the opportunity to feel the real-life scale of these magnificent creatures,” added Bockheim.
While the mom and baby remain indoors at the giraffe barn in Africa – Okavango Delta exhibit, Billy and the Zoo’s other adult female, Noelle, are usually outside during Zoo hours.
Imara and calf may be seen by guests from the viewing windows inside the giraffe barn.