Autumn, the Greenville Zoo’s 12-year-old Masai giraffe, gave birth on Wednesday, January 31 at approximately 11:52 a.m. Both Autumn and the calf are doing well, and the zoo’s animal care staff has been monitoring the calf to ensure that she meets important benchmarks, such as nursing successfully. On Thursday afternoon, the staff performed a routine neonatal exam on the calf, which included determining her height, weight and sex. Blood tests were also done to determine her health status and whether she is receiving important antibodies from Autumn’s milk, and all tests came back normal. Miles, the calf’s father, will remain separated from Autumn and the calf for the next few weeks to allow time for mother and baby to bond without interruption, and time for the calf to gain strength and ability to navigate the giraffe exhibit well.
“We’re all pleased to see the calf making great progress from the time of birth onward. She has been nursing very well and Autumn is being very attentive to her,” said Dr. Nikolay Kapustin, deputy zoo administrator and veterinarian. “It’s very rewarding to have another member added to our Masai giraffe group at the zoo to share with our guests and help interpret further our wildlife conservation messaging and initiatives.”
While the zoo is closed for maintenance this week and next, the zoo staff is launching a baby naming contest today and is asking the public to submit female names online until next Thursday, February 8 at noon. Once the contest closes, zookeepers will select a favorite from the submitted names and the winner will be announced on February 9 on the zoo’s Facebook page.
In the meantime, the public can follow the calf’s progress via the Giraffe Cam at http://www.greenvillezoofoundation.org/giraffecam and the Greenville Zoo’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/greenvillezoo/.