FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo announced the birth of a female reticulated giraffe calf on Thursday. Kita was born Sunday, August 6, to 7-year-old giraffes Zahra and Ezeji.
According to a news release from the zoo, Zahra was in labor when staff arrived Sunday at 7:05 am. Labor progressed quickly and the female calf, Kita was born at 9:28 am. One of her first major milestones was to stand on her own. She accomplished this within the first 30 minutes and started nursing within the hour.
“This was literally a perfect delivery. We couldn’t have asked for anything better!” said Amber Eagleson, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo African Area Curator.
During her first neonatal veterinary exam, the calf was measured at 6’1” and weighed approximately 172 pounds.
“Zahra and her calf, Kita are doing very well,” said staff veterinarian Dr. Kami Fox. “The exam on Monday showed that all her vitals were within the normal range and she is progressing as expected.”
The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo now has a herd of eight reticulated giraffe, six females and two males. The calf will continue to bond with mom behind-the-scenes and we anticipate that Kita will make her exhibit debut yet this season.
Kita is considered the newest ambassador representing wild giraffe in Africa. Giraffe populations continue to plummet due to poaching, habitat destruction and civil unrest. Fortunately, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) has been working to research giraffe and implement ways to save them.
The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo contributes annually to GCF. To learn more about giraffe conservation stop by the giraffe platform at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. For more information about the efforts of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, visit their website at http://www.giraffeconservation.org and find out how you can help.