The average gestation period for a giraffe is approximately 15 months (453-464 days), and on Wednesday, May 12 a baby giraffe made the news when it was born at the Animaya Zoo in Merida, Yucatan.

The calf was on the small side for a baby giraffe, coming in at a mere 5’9″ and 130 pounds. Another fascinating tidbit: giraffes give birth standing up, so it’s pretty normal for a baby to fall six feet to the ground.

According to the press release, this was the second giraffe born in this park.

Baby giraffe born at the Animaya Zoo (Photo: SIPSE)

Animaya Manager, Iber Rodriguez Castillo, said that the mother giraffe was originally brought from the African Safari Zoo located in the state of Puebla, Central Mexico; and arrived to Merida’s Centenario Zoo in August 2, 2000, when she was about four years old, initiating sexual maturity; it is currently 19 years old. Giraffes can live up to 26 years in the wild, but they can live much longer in captivity where disease and predators are absent.

In May 2010, the giraffe was transferred to Animaya Park where she gave birth to her first baby, named Chowakito in February 2013. Her two previous deliveries, Manchitas and Fito, were born in the old Centenario Zoo in downtown Merida.

Giraffes can live up to 26 years old in the wild, but they can live much longer in captivity (Photo: Union Yucatan)

Meanwhile, the breeding male was acquired by the Centenario Zoo on April 18, 2005; it was brought from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, in Northeast Mexico.

  • Giraffes are native to Africa, mainly from countries south of the Sahara, such as Congo, Namibia and northern Botswana.
  • These animals spend between 16 and 20 hours a day feeding on tree leaves, for which they use their long neck and tongue; their digestive system allows them to feed with thorny plants without any problems.
  • They can weigh between 550 and 900 kilograms (1200 – 2000 pounds), and stand from three to more than five meters (9 – 15 feet) tall.




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