The young female hit the ground – literally – Monday, September 17 at 3:33am. Giraffes face up to a 5-foot fall when they’re born! The little pile of limbs was immediately cleaned up by mama, 16 year-old Pogo, and was standing up nursing within the hour.
When she was born, Georgetta weighed 150 pounds but as of today, Thursday, she is 5′ 9″ tall and weighs 163 pounds.
“This is really exciting,” said Melissa Farr, lead keeper in African Savanna. “Giraffes are pregnant for a really long time so it’s something you anticipate and wait for and it’s finally here. We’re so relieved it was an easy pregnancy for Pogo and to have a healthy little girl.”
Baby Georgetta, named by a generous donor to Hogle Zoo, stood within 20 minutes of being born. Pogo began cleaning her immediately. “She’s is doing great,” Farr said. “Pogo is doing everything she’s supposed to do, she has great milk production. This is her third calf and she’s doing a great job.”
Fellow female Kipenzi has shown quite a nurturing side. “The day Georgetta was born Kip showed immediate interest; leaning over, licking and cleaning her,” Farr said. “We call her ‘Auntie Kip’ because she’s been so nurturing.”
Though male giraffes do not participate in rearing their offspring, father, 15 year-old Riley, also showed interest when he saw her in the winter yard. “He came right over to the chute and wanted to know what was happening.”
Giraffes have been an important part of Hogle Zoo since 1969, and the Zoo is proud of the 18 successful giraffe births over that time period.
Mom and baby are doing great. They’ve been spending the last few days bonding. They will be taking advantage of this nice weather and will be greeting guests, as baby and mostly mom allow, during the first half of the day.
Learn more about giraffes here.