What to Know
- Zoo guests won't be able to see Juma and her baby right away -- staffers want to observe the two in a quiet setting first.
- The newborn clocked in at 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighs about 125 pounds.
The Maryland Zoo has welcomed a new baby giraffe to their giraffe herd.
Born Feb. 6, the little one is the first giraffe to be born at the zoo in Baltimore in more than 20 years. Measuring 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighing about 125 pounds, the zoo has a very healthy and strong girl.
The reticulated giraffe calf was born to four-year-old Juma and 11-year-old Caesar, the zoo said Thursday. Juma went into labor at about 3 p.m. and the calf was born at 4:35 p.m.
"Standing is one of the first major milestones for a newborn giraffe, and she was able to fully stand on her own in just 50 minutes," Erin Cantwell, mammal collection and conservation manager, said in a statement.
"It's safe to say that we were all silently cheering her on and were very excited to see her up on four legs," Cantwell said.
Juma is a first-time mother. Cantwell said she is an amazing mother and her instincts are on target: "She is very attentive and has been very patient with the calf as she learns to nurse."
The mother and calf are bonding well and appear to be settling into their new life, she said.
Zoo guests won't be able to see Juma and her baby right away, because staff members want to observe the two together and see their interactions with the rest of the herd in a quiet setting, Cantwell said.
The other giraffes are curious about the new baby, she said.
The tallest species on the planet, reticulated giraffes are one of nine recognized subspecies of giraffe. The worldwide giraffe population has shrunk nearly 40 percent in the last 30 years, the zoo said in Thursday's press release.
In 2016, all giraffe subspecies were put on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's red list of threatened and endangered species worldwide, calling the giraffes "vulnerable," the zoo said.
For updates on Juma and her new baby, and to have a chance to help name the calf, visit the zoo's Facebook page.