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Long Tall Texan: Houston Zoo welcomes baby giraffe

by Michelle Homer

Posted on August 10, 2009 at 6:21 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 27 at 11:00 AM

HOUSTON--The Houston Zoo is celebrating the birth of a big boy, a Masai giraffe that stands over six feet tall.

Tyra, 11, delivered the bouncing baby boy Monday morning. Kiva, 13, is the father of the unnamed calf.

"The calf was standing on his own and nursing before 9 a.m.," said Hoofed Stock Supervisor Laurie McGivern.

With the latest arrival, the Houston Zoo's herd of Masai giraffe has grown to seven, four males and three females.

While Masai giraffes are not threatened or endangered in their native habitat, there are only 88 of them in North American zoos.

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.
On average, Masai giraffes weigh between 125 and 150 pounds at birth and stand approximately 6 feet tall.

Slideshow: Check out baby pictures of the giraffe