Exciting news from the Wilds in animal conservation. July 10 a male Masai giraffe calf was born and staff say he is healthy and staying close to mom. Calves are born after a gestation period of approximately 15 months. The mother gives birth standing up, and within a few hours of birth, calves can stand and run on their own.
His birth is a success for the the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a program designed to increase the genetic health and diversity of threatened and endangered species in human care. They suggested breeding his father, Raha, born at the Los Angeles Zoo in April 2006, and his mother, Lulu, born at Cincinnati Zoo in October 2012. He is Lulu’s first calf.
Giraffes are listed as “vulnerable” on the ICUN Red List of Threatened Species™, primarily due to habitat degradation and poaching. In an effort to reduce threats to giraffes, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and The Wilds support several conservation projects in giraffe range countries across Africa, including the Serengeti Giraffe Project based in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the Giraffe Research and Conservation Trust in Kenya, and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in Namibia and Uganda.
Congratulations to Lulu and Raha, and The Wilds on your conservation efforts.