On Tuesday, 12/27/2022, Lion Country Safari welcomed a male giraffe calf to its herd shortly after opening for the day. Guests visiting the park had a unique opportunity to witness the incredible birth from their vehicles and a line of cars with guests sat to watch. The calf is spending quality time bonding with mom, an 18-year-old female name Ayanna, in a maternity area visible to guests from the road in the last section of the safari.
The calf weighs approximately 150 pounds (68kg) and stands an impressive 5 feet, 10 inches (1.8m) tall. Lion Country Safari is asking for the public’s help in selecting a name for the newborn and has invited followers to vote for their favorite name from a list on the park’s Facebook page.
Giraffes reproduce year-round, with females giving birth to a single large calf after a gestation period of approximately fifteen months. Females give birth standing up and calves are usually able to stand and run within a few hours following birth. Lion Country Safari cares for 17 giraffes, one of the largest herds in the country.
Giraffes are undergoing a silent extinction and have experienced a 30% decline in population since the 1980’s. As a single species, giraffes are listed as “Vulnerable,” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and two of the subspecies are now listed as “Critically Endangered.” Lion Country Safari is a proud partner of AZA’s Giraffe SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program and a supporter of Giraffe Conservation Foundation.