The Houston Zoo announces its latest birth, a male Masai Giraffe.
According to a statement from the zoo, “Mom Tyra delivered the healthy male calf shortly before 1 p.m. on Tuesday at the McGovern Giraffe Habitat at The African Forest following a 14 month pregnancy.”
“Tyra went into labor at approximately 10:45 AM on Tuesday, February 4 and delivered her baby boy at 12:49 p.m.,” said Houston Zoo Giraffe Senior Keeper Kim Siegl. “The calf was standing on his own by 1:17 p.m. and was nursing by 1:57 p.m.”
The calf weighs 165 pounds and is 6 1/2 feet tall. He is 15 year old Tyra’s eighth calf. The proud father, Mtembei is 6 years old. With this new arrival, the Houston Zoo’s herd of Masai giraffe has grown to 9, including 5 males and 3 females.
The giraffe keepers who cared for Tyra during her pregnancy and were present for the birth will have the honor of naming the newest addition to the Houston Zoo’s giraffe herd.
Giraffe numbers in the wild have fallen about 40% over the last decade. There are currently slightly over 100 Masai giraffe living in 28 North American zoos according to the statistics available from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Giraffes are the tallest living terrestrial animal. The average male is about 17 feet tall and can weigh 3,000 pounds, while an average female is over 14 feet tall.