Baby Teeth

Lisa G. Putman

Joined November 2007

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Reticulated Giraffe ~ Giraffa camelopardalis (Linnaeus, 1758) – Two month old baby giraffe

ICUN Red List Category: Lower Risk, Conservation Dependent

(Pacifier: "Angela Kate” was born November 5, 2006, and was the Zoo’s first giraffe birth since 1995.)

The Memphis Zoo staff welcomed a baby boy reticulated giraffe born today around noon on August 29, 2008. Like all giraffes, he was born with his teeth but the horns on his head took about a week to grow. Baby giraffes grow very quickly and gain several pounds each day. Most giraffes weigh 121 to 150 pounds at birth. This little guy weighed in at 100 lbs. when he was born.

Female giraffe “Marilyn” and male giraffe “Kenya” are the proud parents of the Zoo’s newest arrival. This is the second successful birth of a baby giraffe at the Memphis Zoo in the last two years; “Angela Kate” was born November 5, 2006, and was the Zoo’s first giraffe birth since 1995.

At that time, Marilyn, after giving birth to a stillborn baby, stepped in to act as surrogate mother to Angela Kate after her birth mother, “Alta,” rejected her.

“Marilyn is a great candidate for a young mother, “said Matt Thompson, the Zoo’s curator of mammals. “This is the first time she will actually nurse a baby, but she already has the experience of nurturing and caring for a baby the way she did with Angela Kate.”

“She is already being such a good mother,” said Richard Meek, giraffe keeper. Marilyn immediately began grooming the baby after giving birth.

Giraffes give birth while standing, resulting in slight fall to the ground for the baby upon its arrival. It typically takes 30 minutes to an hour for baby giraffes to begin walking after they have given birth.

They can grow between 15 and 17 feet tall with females weighing 2,500 pounds and males a ton more.

Reticulated giraffes are found on the savannah and open woodlands of northeast Kenya. With the newest addition, the Memphis Zoo now has five reticulated giraffes.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Giraffidae
Genus: Giraffa
Species: G. camelopardalis
Binomial name: Giraffa camelopardalis,
Linnaeus, 1758

Artwork Comments

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