Nashville Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a female Masai giraffe. The calf was born in the early morning hours of Friday, Dec. 13, weighing 180 lbs. and standing 6 feet, 5 inches tall. She and mom Margarita are doing well in the Zoo’s state-of-the-art giraffe barn.
“We’ve been tracking Margarita’s pregnancy for about a year and estimated her due date to be in early December,” said Kate Cortelyou, lead giraffe keeper. “I arrived at the giraffe barn around 7:30 a.m. [on Dec. 13] to find a dry, healthy, standing baby giraffe, which is the perfect way to find them. We are so thrilled about the latest addition to our herd.”
This is 9-year old Margarita’s third calf. Her first was born in 2010, and the second, a female named Camilla, was born in 2012 and recently left Nashville to join her permanent herd at the Columbus Zoo. With the addition of the calf, Nashville Zoo is home to three Masai giraffe and one reticulated giraffe. Zoo officials will carefully monitor the baby’s development inside the giraffe barn for the next two month. After that, keepers will make a decision on her public debut depending on climatic conditions.
Masai giraffe are one of nine different sub-species and are known for their oak-leaf shaped spot pattern. They are native to the savannas of Kenya and Tanzania in Africa.
Nashville Zoo’s 1.5 acre Giraffe Savannah opened in April 2006 thanks to contributions from philanthropist Mrs. Maggi Margaret Turner, the Vandewater family and hundreds of supporters who contributed to the Zoo’s “Stick Your Neck Out” campaign.
Nashville Zoo is accredited by the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. Attracting more than 787,000 visitors annually, the Zoo is considered one of the top things to do in Nashville. The Zoo is a non-profit organization located at 3777 Nolensville Pike and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The mission of Nashville Zoo is to inspire a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation and leadership. For more information about Nashville Zoo, call 615-833-1534 or visit http://www.nashvillezoo.org.