Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's second giraffe calf of the summer is now on exhibit in the African Savanna area. The male calf, named Jabari, the Swahili word for brave/strong, was born September 5 to first-time mom Grace, 6, and dad Travis, 8. He is the 48th giraffe born at the Zoo since 1955.
Jabari was about 140 pounds and 6 feet tall when he was born.
He joins 2-month-old calf Adia, who was born in June to first-time mom Jhasmin, and father Travis, making them half siblings. The Zoo's herd also includes adult female Jada.
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.
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 one of the most recognized animals on the planet. Surprisingly, their numbers have declined by nearly 40 percent in the last decade. The current giraffe population is now estimated to be less than 80,000 animals -- about one-fifth of the number of African elephants remaining.
Poaching, habitat loss and disease continue to threaten giraffe populations and a recently emerged and as yet unidentified giraffe skin disease could negatively impact giraffe populations across Africa.
Cleveland Metroparks 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.
In addition, the Zoo, in partnership with the Leiden Conservation Foundation and Cleveland Zoological Society, supports the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and others to help secure a future for giraffes in the wild including studying and protecting giraffes in Tanzania and Uganda, and investigating giraffe skin disease in the region.