At more than 6-feet tall, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's newest Masai giraffe calf, Trevor, is much larger than your typical 1-month-old. Trevor made his public debut in the giraffe exhibit today after undergoing a successful hernia operation last month.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has one of the largest and most prolific herds of Masai giraffes in the country. Trevor, the 45th baby giraffe delivered at the Zoo, was born on July 11 to mom Lindi, 26, the Zoo's eldest giraffe, and dad Travis, 4, who came to Cleveland in 2008 from the San Diego Zoo. Trevor is Lindi's eighth offspring, and Travis' first.
Soon after his birth, the Zoo's Animal Care and Veterinary Services staff noticed that Trevor had an umbilical hernia. The decision was made to perform surgery to correct the hernia and Trevor had the procedure on July 20. He spent the next few weeks healing in the giraffe barn and bonding with Lindi.
Giraffes give birth standing up, so newborns get an abrupt introduction to the world by dropping up to 6 feet to the ground. They are about 6-feet tall when they are born and weigh between 100 to 150 pounds. The calf joins the other giraffes in the African Savanna exhibit, Jada, 4, Grace, 3, Shirley, 5, and Jhasmin, 5.
Lindi has lived at the Zoo since 1985. Her first three offspring, all males, were sired by Bert, who passed away at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 1993. Her next four, all females, were sired by Walker, who now lives at the Louisville Zoo.
The Zoo acquired its first three giraffes in 1955 and had its first birth in 1959.
Giraffes are native to the savannas of Africa south of the Sahara Desert. Masai giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) are found in Kenya and Tanzania, near the Masai Mara National Reserve.
Giraffes are the tallest mammals, with males capable of reaching heights up to 18 feet tall. Giraffes can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. They have long, prehensile bluish-purple tongues, which they use to strip the leaves from tree branches in the wild. Giraffes typically live 15-20 years in the wild and a few years longer in captivity.