Lion Country Safari announced their first giraffe birth of 2014 on June 24th. The male calf, born weighing 141.5 pounds and measuring 70 inches, was named Nafari ("first-born” in Swahili). The healthy calf and his mother are spending time bonding together in the maternity enclosure, away from the herd for three months.
Once Nefari has his one-on-one time with mama, the two will rejoin the herd. Soon afterward, the calf will have the opportunity to play with other young companions, as several other female giraffes at the facility are expecting.
The gestation period of a giraffe is approximately fifteen months. Giraffe calves are born with the mother in a standing position and they drop to the ground head first. Life expectancy of a giraffe is twenty-five years.
Adult giraffes stand fifteen to twenty feet tall. The average weight of an adult giraffe is 2,628 pounds for a male and 1,825 pounds for a female.
The large eyes of giraffes provide them with excellent vision, and they see in color. Their hearing and sense of smell is also well developed. Their prehensile tongue is approximately 20 inches long and purplish-black in color, possibly to protect against sunburn. The animals use their long tongues to grasp acacia leaves, a main ingredient of their diet, as well as for grooming and cleaning.
See more pictures and a video of Nefari at Zooborns.
Images Credit: Lion Country Safari.