TORONTO – The Toronto Zoo welcomed its newest and youngest resident on Friday, a female Masai giraffe calf named Mstari (it’s pronounced “mi-starry”).
The zoo’s 23-year-old Masai giraffe Twiga gave birth to Mstari on Oct. 17.
Masai giraffes carry their babies in the womb for an average of 457 days. They give birth standing up, and with heights ranging from 3.8 to 5.5 metres, during the birth calves fall nearly 2 metres to the ground.
Calves are usually able to stand after about 20 minutes after birth.
Officials for the zoo said both baby and mother are healthy and doing well. Mstari’s father, Stripes, died in 2012 at the age of 21.
Masai giraffes in the wild are found in sourthern Kenya and Tanzania. They have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years.
The Toronto Zoo is a member of the Masai Giraffe Species Survival Plan. This is the 17th Masai giraffe born at the zoo.
Officials at the zoo said the primary threat to Masai giraffes loss of habitat.