We are proud to announce the birth of a male Masai giraffe. Mom Tyra delivered the healthy male calf shortly before 1 p.m. on Tuesday at the McGovern Giraffe Habitat at The African Forest following a 14 month pregnancy.
“Tyra went into labor at approximately 10:45 AM on Tuesday, February 4 and delivered her baby boy at 12:49 p.m.,” said Houston Zoo Giraffe Senior Keeper Kim Siegl. “The calf was standing on his own by 1:17 p.m. and was nursing by 1:57 p.m.,” added Siegl.
“The calf weighs 165 pounds and is 6 and a half feet tall. He’s a big healthy boy,” said Siegl. This is 15 year old Tyra’s eighth calf. The proud father, Mtembei is 6 years old. With this new arrival, the Houston Zoo’s herd of Masai giraffe has grown to 9, including 5 males and 3 females.
The giraffe keepers who cared for Tyra during her pregnancy and were present for the birth will have the honor of naming the newest addition to the Houston Zoo’s giraffe herd.
Giraffe numbers in the wild appear to have plummeted by 40% over the last decade. There are currently slightly over 100 Masai giraffe living in 28 North American zoos according to the statistics available from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. 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 typically weigh between 125 and 150 pounds at birth and stand approximately 6 feet tall.