MELBOURNE, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - The Brevard Zoo says that a new giraffe calf was born on March 17th.
The male was born to 16-year-old Milenna in the early evening hours that day. Gestation lasted 13 to 15 months. The father, 19-year-old Rafiki, has sired all 11 calves at the zoo.
The zoo says that the newborn and the mother are thriving.
The zoo captured the first moments of his life on video, Views can see a six-foot tall giraffe fall the ground upon birth and take his first steps.
“Every birth is incredibly significant, but giraffe births are especially awe-inspiring,” said Michelle Smurl, the Zoo’s director of animal programs. “We’re thrilled to share this moment with the world.”
The not-yet-named calf reportedly weighs 148 pounds and measures 6'3.5" tall -- which is just a half inch shorter than the previous giraffe born at the Brevard Zoo in March 2016.
The zoo says that calf and his mother will remain behind the scenes for the next few weeks before joining the rest of the tower in the public viewing area.
Eight of the Zoo’s nine giraffes belong to the Masai subspecies, which is native to Tanzania and southern Kenya. Habitat loss, poaching, disease, and civil unrest pose the most significant threats to wild giraffe.