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Giraffe Calf Born at Houston Zoo

(Image credit: Houston Zoo)

This baby Masai giraffe calf was born at the Houston Zoo on March 4.

The new arrival, a female, is the most recent at the zoo and the first birth in it's African Forest exhibit , which opened on Dec. 10, 2010.

"The calf weighs 150 pounds and is over 6 feet tall. She's a strong healthy baby," said said Houston Zoo Hoofed Stock Supervisor Laurie McGivern.

(Image credit: Houston Zoo)

The baby was born to mother Tyra after a 14-month pregnancy.

"Tyra went into labor at approximately 3:15 p.m. yesterday and delivered her baby 5:15 p.m.," McGivern said.

The calf, who has yet to be named, is Tyra's sixth. The father is 15-year-old Kiva. With this new arrival, the Houston Zoo's herd of Masai giraffe has grown to 8, including 5 males and 3 females.

While Masai giraffes are not threatened or endangered in their native habitat, there are 92 Masai giraffes living in 24 North American zoos.

Giraffes are the tallest living terrestrial animal. The average male is about 17 feet (5 meters) tall and can weigh 3,000 pounds (1,360 kilograms), while an average female is over 14 feet (4.3 m) tall. On average, Masai giraffes weigh between 125 and 150 pounds (57 and 68 kg) at birth and stand approximately 6 feet (2 m) tall.

Live Science Staff
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