Lifestyle & Human Interest

As Zoo Miami Welcomes Newborn Giraffe, a Surprise Arrives 'Behind the Scenes'


It’s been a rough time for giraffes in the news lately.

In early March, a barn at Roer’s Zoofari in Reston, Virginia, caught fire. The 2-story barn was home to the zoo’s two giraffes, and both sadly perished as a result.

In April, the giraffe of the same name who rose to internet fame after Animal Adventure Park live-streamed her giving birth also passed away. According to an article by The New York Times, she was 20 and had been suffering from arthritis when the zoo made the call to have her put to sleep.

But with this spring comes some more positive news, courtesy of Zoo Miami, which has welcomed over 50 baby giraffes during its time.

“Yesterday, Zoo Miami’s newest baby giraffe made his exhibit debut!” the Zoo Miami Facebook page posted on Tuesday.

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“For the first time, a yet unnamed male calf that was born on April 2nd, walked out onto the exhibit with his mother and other members of the herd, curiously exploring his new surroundings.

“Until yesterday, the newborn had been held inside a holding area with his mother to give them time to bond.

“On Sunday, the calf received a neonatal exam where in addition to a general physical, he was weighed, had his blood collected and received a microchip for identification.

“He weighed a whopping 181 pounds and is the seventh baby born to Mia, his 14-year-old mother. The first-time father is a four-year-old named Malcolm. This is the 54th giraffe born in the zoo’s history!”

But that baby wasn’t the only baby getting attention, and Malcolm was made a proud father all over again in short order.

“As this newborn was making his exhibit debut, Zuri, a six and a half-year-old female was giving birth behind the scenes to the 55th giraffe born in the zoo’s history!” the post continued.

“The baby, Zuri’s second, was born yesterday at approximately 10:30 AM, and has been observed nursing very well. Malcolm is also the father making this his second calf.

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“A neonatal exam was performed this morning and it is confirmed to be a healthy female weighing 119 pounds. Should everything continue to go well, this baby and mother will join the herd on exhibit tomorrow.”

Baby giraffes, on average, stand at six feet. While the two newest additions might be the gangliest cuties at the zoo, they’re certainly not the only ones. Spring has certainly arrived, and the zoo has also announced the birth of a tiger and a rhinoceros as well.

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