Birth of a giraffe calf

The zoo recently recorded its 27th giraffe birth, a female. The calf is named Juliette and is doing well.

11-year-old first-time mother Britney gave birth to Juliette in early evening, 2 hours and a half after the beginning of the labor. Just over one hour after the birth, the calf was standing on her legs. Some staff members were lucky to witness the birth, a moment of intense emotion always mixed with some concern until the baby giraffe finally stood on her 4 legs.

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During her first month of life, Juliette will grow about 20cm thanks to the high-fat milk of her mother. She will almost double her height during her first year. Its ossicones (skin and hair-covered bony outgrowths on the top the skull) haven’t yet fully righted as they could injure the calf when it falls on the ground at birth: they start ossifying about 7 days after birth and will elongate progressively in the coming months.

For now, mother and calf will remain indoors.

Juliette is a Rothschild’s Giraffe, a subspecies found in Kenya and Uganda, classified as “Near threatened” on the IUCN Red List.