Masai giraffe Adia recently gave birth to Raymie, a male calf, at the Santa Barbara Zoo.
The birth happened at 1:55 a.m. Jan. 19, and mother and son are bonding behind the scenes in the giraffe barn.
The calf’s legs were first observed around 11 p.m. Jan. 17, and Adia was in active labor for about three hours, according to a news release.
The zoo reported that the calf was standing 45 minutes after it was born, is nursing, and appears strong and healthy.
Raymie is Adia’s second calf. Dr. Julie Barnes, the zoo’s vice president of Animal Care and Health, said Adia is once again showing excellent maternal behavior.
At his first medical exam on Jan. 20, Raymie weighed 71.4 kilograms and measured approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall.
“We are thrilled to share the news of this birth and welcome another Masai giraffe to our herd,” Dr. Barnes said. “Each giraffe born at the zoo is very important to this population and conservation of this species, so we’re especially proud of the critical work done at the Santa Barbara Zoo with our incredible animal care team.
“While we’ve seen many giraffe births here at the Santa Barbara Zoo, it’s always exciting to see another calf born and stand for the first time,” she said.
Masai giraffes are listed as endangered due to the significant decline of this species in the wild in recent decades.
“The number of Masai giraffes under human care here in the U.S. is relatively small, and the Species Survival Plan manages the population to ensure that it is healthy and genetically diverse so that the population thrives,” the zoo said in its news release.
The zoo’s animal care team will determine when Adia and Raymie are ready to leave the giraffe barn. Until that time, they will remain together to bond behind the scenes.
For photos and updates, visit the zoo’s pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Raymie is the second baby for mother Adia, who’s 7 years old, and the 10th for the father, Michae, 15.
Their first calf together, Twiga, was born in March 2020, just after the Zoo closed due to the pandemic.
Adia arrived in 2017 from the Cleveland Zoo.
The Santa Barbara Zoo’s Masai giraffe herd now numbers five with the addition of the new calf: Raymie, Michael, Adia, Audrey and Twiga. The Zoo’s other adult female giraffe Audrey is also pregnant and expected to give birth in July.
The giraffes at the zoo are among more than 120 Masai giraffes that live at 28 North American zoos.
For more information about the Santa Barbara Zoo, go to sbzoo.org.