The baby giraffe, whose name and sex have yet to be determined, was born at 6:07 a.m. on Saturday

By Maria Pasquini
November 25, 2019 05:33 PM
baby giraffe
Credit: Cincinnati Zoo/Facebook

It’s been an emotional week at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

On Saturday, the zoo announced the birth of a “healthy” baby giraffe, who arrived just five days after the death of its father, a beloved 12-year-old giraffe.

The baby, whose name and sex have yet to be determined, was born at 6:07 a.m., to second-time mother Cece — and within an hour, the giraffe, who’s already six-feet-tall — was on its feet!

“Our Zoo Volunteer Observer (ZVO) team has been monitoring Cece overnight for almost a month,” Cincinnati Zoo’s Curator of Mammals Christina Gorsuch said in a statement. “They noticed signs of labor at about 4:51 this morning and notified the giraffe team. The calf arrived about an hour later!”

“We’re all sad that Kimba isn’t here to meet his seventh calf but thankful that he made such an important contribution to the survival of his species,” added Gorsuch. “This baby, and five-month-old Fenn, will ensure Kimba’s lasting legacy.”

The latest addition to the zoo’s family is the 17th giraffe born there since 1889.

baby giraffe
Baby giraffe and mom
| Credit: Cincinnati Zoo

On Monday, the zoo also posted a sweet video of the two-day-old giraffe going outside for the first time, while spending time with its mother and the rest of the herd.

“Mom and baby are doing well,” the zoo shared.

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The baby’s father, Kimba, died in the early hours of Nov. 18.

According to a statement shared on the zoo’s website, a team had been monitoring the giraffe barn for weeks and
called vets when they saw Kimba had fallen to the ground at 1 a.m. the previous day.

Cincinnati Zoo’s curator of mammals Christina Gorsuch said that the giraffe team was “devastated” in the wake of Kimba’s death.

“He had been dealing with pain related to chronic lameness since last summer, and we were looking forward to him feeling better after he had a successful procedure last week to fix his hooves,” she said. “Unfortunately, there were complications following the procedure.”

One week prior to Kimba’s death, the zoo announced that giraffe foot specialist Steve Foxworth gave Kimba a thorough hoof trim to address mobility issues that he had been experiencing for months.

“Kimba began intermittent bouts of lameness last summer, which we’ve been managing with laser therapy and medications that mitigate symptoms,” Gorsuch said on Nov. 12. “Giraffes balance a lot of weight on their extra-long legs, so we want to do everything possible to maintain foot health.”

Kimba came to Cincinnati in 2008 and sired seven calves, including the baby that was born after his death, during his at the zoo.