Two-month-old giraffe calf Adia has a new little half-brother in the Africa barn at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo -- although at 140 pounds and 6 feet tall, he's not so little!
The Zoo's Masai giraffe herd grew for the second time this summer when the as-yet-unnamed male calf was born on September 5 to first-time mom Grace, 6, and dad Travis, 8. He is the 48th giraffe born at the Zoo since 1955.
"Our male giraffe Travis is having quite a summer," said Andi Kornak, the Zoo's Director of Animal and Veterinary Programs. "But in all seriousness, we couldn't be more pleased with the success of our giraffe breeding program. The calf and Grace are doing very well, and we hope to have them outside this weekend."
Grace herself was born at the Zoo in 2008. Travis was born at the San Diego Zoo in 2006 and came to Cleveland in 2008. The Zoo's current giraffe herd also includes females Jada and Jhasmin.
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 Zoo participates in the Masai giraffe Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Species Survival Plans are cooperative breeding and management groups for endangered or threatened species including black rhinos, African elephants, lowland gorillas and Amur tigers.
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.
The Africa barn has a third calf in residence this summer as well - a bontebok was born on September 3. Bonteboks are a species of antelope native to South Africa. The unnamed male calf was born to mom Karoo, 7, who is here on breeding loan from the Ellen Trout Zoo in Texas, and dad Patrick, 10.
The bontebok calf brings the Zoo's herd to five. They can be seen in the African Savanna area of the Zoo in the exhibit they share with white storks and sacred ibises.