The Greenville Zoo welcomed its newest addition over the weekend — a baby Masai giraffe.
Autumn, the 14-year-old female giraffe gave birth to a new calf on the afternoon of Feb. 21 as thousands watched via live video stream.
The baby — a girl — was born at 2:28 p.m. and was standing on its own 40 minutes later, said Beth Brotherton, spokeswoman for the city of Greenville.
This is the sixth calf born to seasoned mother Autumn. The father is 12-year-old Miles, who came to Greenville from the Houston Zoo in 2016. Autumn was born at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and has been in Greenville since 2007.
Facts about the new calf
- This is Autumn’s sixth calf.
- The new calf is unnamed, and the gender is not yet known by zoo staff.
- The calf will nurse for nine to 12 months but will begin eating foliage at around two-months-old.
- The father of the calf is 12-year-old Miles, who arrived at the Greenville Zoo in 2016 from the Houston Zoo.
- The giraffe will double in size in its first year of life.
The pairing of Autumn and Miles was a result of the recommendation by the Species Survival Plan, a program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to maintain the genetic diversity of threatened endangered species in captivity, Brotherton said.
🎀🦒 It’s a GIRL!— City of Greenville (@CityGreenville) February 23, 2021
💚 Born February 21st
📏 6 ft tall & 148 lbs
Our baby giraffe had her 1st veterinary exam and she is in good health! The @greenvillezoo will debut mom & baby on exhibit Wednesday, behavior & weather permitting.
🎟️Make plans to visit: https://t.co/yJAqGQQp1n pic.twitter.com/qU4TD1Ahd6
The Masai giraffe was declared endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2019. Poaching and loss of habitat has resulted in a nearly 50% decline in their population over the last 30 years. An estimated 35,000 Masai giraffes exist in the wild
According to zoo staff, the calf will nurse for nine to 12 months but will begin eating foliage when it’s about two months old.
You can watch Autumn and her baby interact live at greenvillezoofoundation.org/camera.