In the early morning hours on March 22nd at LEO Zoological Conservation Center, Petal, a 6 year old endangered Rothschild giraffe, began the early stages of labor. At 9.04am, after a relatively short labor, she gave birth to a healthy, female calf. Petal has bonded extremely well, was very attentive, and began nurturing her calf right away. Within 30 minutes of the birth, the calf was standing and nursing. Our new arrival was greeted by LEOZCC’s herd of giraffe who were eagerly watching the birth.
Following an average 15 month gestation period, mother giraffes give birth while standing. Her birth marks a huge milestone for the low impact conservation center. This calf is the first giraffe born at the facility and quite possibly the first in Connecticut’s history. The Rothschild giraffe, found in Africa, is classified as endangered on IUCN Red List and there are fewer than 670 left in the wild.
LEOZCC is a nonprofit, accredited conservation center and offsite breeding facility specializing in species at risk and conservation based education programs. LEOZCC is no stranger to newborns and is expecting more giraffe, tapir, kangaroo and primate births this Spring. For more information: www.LEOzoo.org.