Forget April the giraffe: Autumn is the new giraffe mom of the moment. She also usurps Vivian the giraffe, who gave birth at the Peoria Zoo in January.
The Greenville Zoo in South Carolina announced Autumn’s pregnancy on its website back in December, stating the 11-year-old Masai giraffe might give birth “as early as February.” Turns out she went into labor earlier than expected, introducing her baby to the world on Jan. 31, with the zoo spreading the news via Facebook: “Hurry to the GiraffeCam! Autumn is in labor!”
On Thursday, the animal park posted an image of mother and child to Facebook, along with a note:
“Autumn and baby are doing well and having some quality bonding time. Dr. Kapustin, Zoo Veterinarian, stated ‘all the things we want to see happening at this time are happening successfully.’ The zoo staff is very grateful!”
The as-yet-unnamed baby is Autumn’s first with male partner Miles. The veteran mom has given birth three times previously, reports Greenville News. Her first calf, Kiko, was born in October 2012, and shared with the world through a webcam. Kiko was later sent to live at the Toronto Zoo. Sadly, her second calf was stillborn. Autumn’s third baby, Tatu, was born in February 2016, but recently transferred to Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley Zoo.
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The Greenville Zoo’s website states there are currently 118 Masai giraffes in zoos around the world; 65 are females and 52 are males, while one is of undetermined gender. (We assume that’s the new baby!)
We send our congratulations to the Greenville Zoo, and hope mom and baby continue to be well. We also hope Autumn gets to enjoy a significant amount of bonding time with the youngster before he or she moves to a permanent new home.