HOUSTON – The Houston Zoo has a new addition to their giraffe herd!
A male Masai giraffe was born on July 14, 2012, just before 8 p.m., at the McGovern Giraffe Exhibit in The African Forest.
"Tyra went into labor at approximately 4:50 p.m. on Saturday July 14 and delivered her baby boy at 7:48 p.m.," said Houston Zoo Hoofed Stock Supervisor John Register. The calf was standing on his own and nursing by 8:27 p.m.
The zoo is holding an online naming contest for the calf. Visit the Houston Zoo Blog to cast your vote from a list of names chosen by the zoo’s giraffe keepers.
"The calf weighs 73 kilos, about 160 pounds, and is over 74 inches tall. He’s a strong healthy baby," said Register.
His is 14-year-old Tyra’s seventh calf. The proud father, Mtembei, is 5 years old. With this new arrival, the Houston Zoo’s herd of Masai giraffe has grown to eight, including five males and three females.
While Masai giraffes are not threatened or endangered in their native habitat, there are 92 Masai giraffes living in 24 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.