New baby giraffe drops in at Binder Park Zoo

Earlier this year, people across the globe were waiting, some with more patience than others, for the birth of a baby giraffe at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, N.Y. While people constantly checked in with April's giraffe cam online, baby giraffes were being born without a lot of fanfare.

One report says that while the world waited four little giraffes were born: Dobby at the Denver Zoo on Feb. 28, and on April 3 giraffes were born at the Chester Zoo in Cheshire England, the Memphis Zoo, and the Toledo Zoo. And one more came into the world at the Paignton Zoo on April 19. (There are probably more but those are the ones Google knows about.)

So, this is definitely the year of the giraffe. And Binder Park Zoo is part of the trend. A baby reticulated giraffe on May 23. The female calf was 6 feet tall and weighed 190 pounds at birth. Zookeepers have named her Kijana. Her mother is the 17-year-old Makena. It is the tenth calf to be born at Binder Park Zoo.

The zoo says that updates on Kijana's debut on the savanna will be announced on its Facebook page

“Mom and baby are both doing well,” says Brett Linsley, Manager of Wildlife, Conservation, and Education at Binder Park Zoo. “This is a significant birth because there are so few reticulated giraffes remaining in the wild and because the conservation status of this subspecies has yet to be classified.”

The gestation period for giraffes is 14 to 15 months and calves can be up to 6 feet tall at birth. Giraffe babies start off their lives with a 6-foot drop into the world as their mothers give birth standing up. The giraffe is the tallest land animal and the reticulated giraffe is the most well-known of the giraffe subspecies. 
 
Today there are only a few small areas where giraffes remain in the wild, the zoo reports. Giraffe populations have diminished to 90,000— down from 140,000 in 1999.  According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, giraffe populations have declined by 35 percent over the last two decades, much of which is due to habitat loss and poaching. 
 
Binder Park Zoo has participated in giraffe conservation since the opening of Wild Africa in 1999. Ten years later, in 2009 the first baby giraffe in zoo history was born.  Binder Park Zoo’s herd has six reticulated giraffes.  

If current trends persist, the reticulated giraffe could be gone from the wild by 2020. In the last 15 years, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation has noted a decline in reticulated giraffe populations from 31,000 in the wild to an estimated 8,000 today. Conservationists are pushing to get all species of giraffe listed on the IUCN Red Lists, which will help to elevate their protection.

Binder Park Zoo is a 433-acre wildlife preserve located outside of Battle Creek. The zoo is home to a vast array of threatened and endangered exotic and native wildlife and is heavily involved in conservation on five continents. More than 8,000,000 people have visited Binder Park Zoo and an additional 500,000 have been served through outreach programs since the zoo was established in 1975. The zoo’s educational programs are at the heart of its mission and are intended to inspire today’s youth to be tomorrow’s conservation leaders. 

Source: Binder Park Zoo
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