Photos of newborn baby giraffe at the Bronx Zoo
May 21, 2007
Margaret Sukari with her calf at the Bronx Zoo in New York. Photos taken May 17, 2007 by Julie Larsen Maher of WCS
The youngster is the second offspring of Margaret Sukari, a 12-year old giraffe that lives on the African Plains' Giraffe Lawn at the zoo.
Giraffes have a gestation period of 14-15 months and give birth standing up, with the baby falling 5-6 feet to the ground. Researchers believe the fall helps to jumpstart the newborn's heart as well as clear their breathing tubes.
The baby giraffe is expected to grow quickly over the next year, doubling in height from its current five-and-a-half feet. Adult males can reach 18 feet tall and weigh over 4,000 pounds, while mature females can reach 13 to 15 feet tall and weigh as much as 2,600 pounds.
The Bronx Zoo names all its male giraffes in memory of James Walter Carter and all the females, Margaret, for his wife. The Carters of West Virginia were generous supporters of the Bronx Zoo, which opened the Carter Giraffe House in 1982.
The giraffe is the tallest of all terrestrial animal species. There are nine recognized sub-species found across sub-Saharan Africa.
Giraffes are thought to play an important social role in African herbivore communities by using the high vantage point to warn surrounding animals of impending threats.
Giraffe populations in the wild are presently stable.
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