The Zoo Welcomes Abilene’s Tallest Baby!
The Abilene Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of a male giraffe calf! Born on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, to twenty-year-old Asha and twelve-year-old Mesi. “We couldn’t be happier to welcome this calf to our current giraffe herd,” said Bill Gersonde, Executive Director of the Abilene Zoo.
"Asha went in to labor on Wednesday evening and the calf arrived around 8:50 p.m." said Gersonde. “Labor and delivery occurred without complication in an off exhibit yard in the zoo's Giraffe Safari.”
“Asha has filled the role as aunt to the herd’s younger giraffes, Mananasi and Kito and will be a great mother to this calf, which is her second,” said Dr. Stephanie Carle, Veterinarian of the Abilene Zoo. “She is very attentive and has been patient with the calf as he learns to nurse. Mother and calf are bonding well and appear to be settling into their new routine with ease.” During his first veterinary exam, the calf was measured at 6’ 3” tall and weighed approximately 159 pounds. “The calf does have an umbilical hernia and although anesthesia is risky in giraffes, the calf will likely need corrective surgery in the coming weeks.” Since this condition is uncommon in giraffes, zoo staff are currently consulting with other experts throughout the country in order to provide the best care for this calf.
“At this time, we do not know when Asha and her calf will be visible to zoo guests. But, rest assured with a herd of 8 giraffes, there will be at least 3 or 4 on exhibit in Giraffe Safari,” stated Gersonde.