The Masai Giraffe herd at the Kansas City Zoo just grew by four hooves! At 4:57 a.m. on February 2, Giraffe Lizzie gave birth to a female calf.
At the calf’s neonatal exam, the veterinary team determined that the baby is in good health and bonding well with Lizzie. The newborn weighed 105 pounds and stands about five feet tall.
This baby, which has not yet been named, is the first to be born at the zoo since 2015. The little girl’s parents are Lizzie, age 6, and eight-year-old Hamisi. Lizzie’s mother, Mahali, is part of the zoo’s herd, so the calf will soon meet her grandmother.
It’s too cold outside for Lizzie and her baby, so they’ll remain behind the scenes until the weather warms up. In the meantime, fans can see Lizzie and the baby inside the Giraffe barn on the Giraffe Cam.
See more photos of the newborn calf below.
Masai Giraffes are one of nine types of Giraffe, all of which are under threat in their native Africa. There is some debate about the taxonomy of Giraffes, with some organizations recognizing only one species with nine subspecies, and others recognizing between four and eight species, with some subspecies.
Masai Giraffes are the most numerous of all Giraffes, with about 32,500 individuals remaining, mainly in Kenya and Tanzania. Researchers believe that fewer than 100,000 Giraffes remain in Africa, a decline of 40% in just 30 years. Once ranging widely across Africa, Giraffes are now restricted to fragmented sections of the continent, often in protected areas and parks. Giraffes are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).