TORONTO, Ont. – At the same time as the Toronto Zoo’s elephants were packing up for California on Thursday, the institution welcomed a new addition.
Twiga, a 23-year-old Masai giraffe, gave birth to a female calf.
Her father is Stripes, who passed away on September 29, 2012 at the age of 21.
“The Toronto Zoo is part of the Masai Giraffe Species Survial Plan (SSP) and the birth of this calf is very important to the North American captive population”, says Maria Franke, the Toronto Zoo Curator of Mammals.
This is the 17th such giraffe to the born at the zoo.
The average gestation period for giraffe is approximately 15 months. The mother gives birth standing, meaning the baby drops about 1.5 metres to the ground.
Giraffes are the world’s tallest animal, and can stand as tall as 6.1 metres.