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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Giraffe gives birth to Seattle’s tallest baby

Posted by: Alissa Wolken, Communications


Seattle’s tallest baby has arrived! After months of eager anticipation, Woodland Park Zoo is excited to announce 8-year-old giraffe Tufani gave birth this morning. The calf, whose sex has not yet been determined, was born to the first-time mom in the giraffe barn at approximately 4:03 a.m. under the watchful eyes of zookeepers.

Hello, baby! Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo.

Following the critical 72-hour window after birth, the zoo’s giraffe cam will go live, giving the public the opportunity to see Tufani and her baby as they bond in the barn. Viewers can access the giraffe cam once it goes live and see updates by visiting zoo.org/tallestbaby and following #tallestbaby on the zoo’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.




The unnamed calf and mother are off view in the barn to allow a quiet environment for maternal bonding and nursing. “Within a week or two, we expect the newborn to follow mom to the outdoor area of the barn where visitors will be able to see them,” explained Martin Ramirez, a mammal curator at the zoo. “Viewing is expected to be sporadic since the family also will have access to the off-view barn. It will be a minimum of a few months before the calf is introduced to the African Savanna.”

Mom and babe are bonding. Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo.

Giraffes give birth while standing, and the calf drops 5 feet from the ground as it is born. According to Ramirez, the calf stood one hour after birth. The calf’s first exam will be conducted tomorrow, June 21. At that time, the sex, height and weight will be determined. “The first 24 to 72 hours are critical for giraffe calves,” said Ramirez. “So far, mother and calf are bonding. We will continue to keep a close eye on the new family over the next several weeks.” When fully grown, giraffes reach a height of 16 feet tall for females and 18 feet tall for males.

The father is 4-year-old Dave, who arrived at the zoo in June 2014. This will be the first baby for both parents who were paired under a breeding recommendation made by the Giraffe Species Survival Plan, a cooperative, conservation breeding program to ensure genetic diversity and demographic stability in North American zoos. In addition to Tufani, Dave and the calf, the other giraffe at the zoo is Olivia, Tufani’s 10-year-old sister.

Now that Tufani’s baby has arrived the zoo is also preparing to announce the winning guess from the zoo’s giraffe birth pool contest. Nearly 3,000 guesses were submitted which asked participants to accurately guess the birth date and sex of the baby giraffe. The zoo is determining the winner now and will announce it in the coming days.

The baby was ready to stand up an hour after birth. Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo.

The new giraffe will be named later this summer. The opportunity to name the baby will be offered as a live auction item at the zoo’s signature fundraiser, Jungle Party, held in July at the zoo. Funds raised for the naming will support the zoo’s exemplary animal care program, field conservation projects in the Pacific Northwest and around the world and hands-on environmental learning for all ages.

Widespread across southern and eastern Africa, with smaller isolated populations in west and central Africa, new population surveys estimate an overall 36 to 40 percent decline in the giraffe population, from approximately 151,702 to 163,452 in 1985, to 97,562 in 2015. Of the currently recognized subspecies of giraffe, five have decreasing populations, while three are increasing and one is stable.

Giraffe fans can help support conservation efforts by visiting Woodland Park Zoo and supporting Wildlife Survival Fund projects, including the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, which seeks to provide the first long-term ecological monitoring effort of the Angolan giraffe—an important desert-dwelling giraffe subspecies in north-western Namibia. Visit www.zoo.org/conservation to learn more about the zoo’s conservation partnerships taking place in the Pacific Northwest and around the world.

16 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing the awesome news! Welcome baby!!

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  2. We are so lucky to have the great WPZ so close and get to see some of life's most amazing creatures. Thank you, WPZ Teams!

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  3. Congrats!!! Can't wait for the cam and to visit!

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  4. Congrats!!! Can't wait for the cam and to visit!

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  5. That's awesome,congratulations

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  6. Congratulations absolutely beautiful

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  7. Such a beautiful baby! Congrats to the whole WPZ family.

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  8. Yay!! So exciting! Beautiful! My daughters say if it's a girl Nola or Lola. If it's a boy Tuff or Jack!! #7&6YearOldIdeas

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  9. Love all the love mama shows for her babe!!

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  10. What a great Job Tufani. You did a great job as a first time Mom. Thank you for sharing these wonderful moments with us... Give her all the time she needs with baby and we will be happily waiting tell the time is right to enter the Savanna !!

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  11. Hooray! Good job Tufani, love seeing the snuggles from supportive daddy. So exciting to have a new baby!

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  12. Welcome Little One! It is so exciting to have a new baby! Tufani, you are such a sweet mom and daddy is so supportive and loving. Thank you all for sharing this special moment with us!

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  13. If it's a girl name her Summer and if it's a boy name him Twigs (After the Beanie Baby Giraffe).

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  14. It is so exciting!! Congratulations to all concerned!!Wish we lived closer so we could meet her in person !!


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