Msitu the giraffe gave birth to a healthy female calf.
Saturday, July 7, was an eventful day at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. The staff, and 10,000 viewers watching worldwide via the camera feed, welcomed the latest addition to the giraffe herd as their 10-year-old giraffe Msitu gave birth to a baby.
In keeping with the zoo's tradition, the baby will be named after she is 30 days old.
Keepers first noticed that the mother was in labor at 11:10 a.m., the zoo's news release read. Msitu was then moved to the birthing stall where the labor continued for the next two hours. The calf was born at 1:20 p.m. and took its first steps a half-hour later. At 3:17 p.m., the calf nursed for the first time.
Msitu, mother of baby giraffe | Courtesy of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
The baby giraffe is about six feet tall, which is an average height for newborn giraffes. She is the sixteenth member of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's reticulated giraffe herd, and the third offspring of Msitu, who was also born in the CM Zoo, and the fifth offspring of the father, Khalid.
According to the CMZoo's news release, the calf appears to be within the healthy parameters of height and weight, ranging between five to six feet tall and weighing between 150-200 pounds.
The average gestation period of giraffes is a long 14-15 months. The birth had been patiently anticipated by zoo visitors and animal lovers around the world. During the pregnancy, the zoo invited the public to make its own guesses about when the baby would be born. The person who submitted a guess with the closest correct time and date of the birth would win a behind-the-scenes animal encounter with the CMZoo's giraffe herd. The winner has not been announced as of yet.
The birthing video is available at the CMZoo's website and so is their live feed of the giraffe herd.
What do you think? Will you be paying a visit to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's latest addition? Let us know in the comments.