On Saturday, 12/31/2022, Lion Country Safari welcomed a second giraffe calf to its herd, just days after the first giraffe birth. The newest baby, a 161-pound (73.2kg), 6.1-foot-tall (1.9m) male, is the 18th member of the park’s giraffe herd, one of the largest in the country. Both calves are spending quality time bonding with their moms in adjacent maternity areas and are visible to guests from the road in the last section of the safari.
The new calf, named Kianga (meaning sunshine) is the first offspring born to 9-year-old mom, Ashleigh. 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.
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.