A female reticulated giraffe calf was born Tuesday, June 25 at Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Goddard. Her parents are Ismene, mother, and Dudley, father. This marks the 60th giraffe calf born at Tanganyika in 21 years and the 10th since May 2017 when the 50th calf was born.
The calf, whose name is yet to be determined, weighed in at about 140 pounds and was approximately 6 feet tall at birth.
Ismene is 10 years old and Dudley is 14 years old. They have parented four giraffe calves total. The gestation period for giraffes is typically between 14-16 months.
According to Tanganyika’s Hoof Stock Supervisor, Robert Olmstead, both mom and baby are healthy and adjusting very well. As of this week, the new calf is out on public exhibit along with her parents for guests to see.
The new birth brings Tanganyika’s giraffe herd to 16. Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) shows that Tanganyika has the second largest reticulated giraffe herd in the country.
Reticulated giraffe population has decreased by more than 80% in recent decades and they are now considered an endangered species. Tanganyika is devoted to preserving the species through its Reticulated Giraffe breeding program as well as supporting the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF)— a non-governmental organization focused on the conservation and management of giraffes in the wild.
Tanganyika’s Assistant Director, Matt Fouts, says that Tanganyika was one of the first private zoos in the country with reticulated giraffes when their journey began about 30 years ago.
“Since that time, our family has made it a priority to preserve these animals,” stated Fouts. “Giraffes are an iconic animal to us. We recognized that years ago and really focused on developing our breeding program. Today, we are one of the most successful giraffe breeding programs in the country—if not the world.”