Zookeepers have confirmed that The Living Desert's female giraffe Dadisi is pregnant and they anticipate their newest arrival in the upcoming weeks.
Dadisi continues to grow larger in the right places and officials invite everyone to learn more about giraffes and participate in a birth date and time guessing game.
Submit your guess online or you can also mail a postcard with your guess to:
Dadisi Baby Birth Date and Time Contest
The Living Desert
47900 Portola Ave.
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Zookeepers said the first person who comes closest to the birth date and time of the calf will win a behind-the-scenes tour of the Giraffe Barn and a special giraffe plush to commemorate the day.
Submissions will be accepted until the day before the birth.
"When it comes to nature, there is no telling what the future will bring, so our African Animal Keepers are being extremely mindful and attentive to Dadisi. Although Dadisi has given birth to four healthy calves, even a positive pregnancy could result in complications due to a variety of reasons, so we are doing everything possible to help ensure a healthy result," says Allen Monroe, President & CEO of The Living Desert.
Dadisi's first encounter with the male breeding giraffe, Hesabu, was about 14 months ago, officials said. Zookeepers are watching her closely and logging daily observations.
The Living Desert will also hold a special giraffe baby shower.
Officials shared some interesting facts about giraffes:
- Average gestation (process of carrying or being carried in the womb) period for a giraffe is bout 15 months
- A baby giraffe is called a calf
- Usually only one calf is born although twins have been recorded
- Newborn calves grow very quickly and can nearly double their height in the first year
- Giraffes give birth standing up, requiring the newborn to fall about five feet to the ground. Designed for such an abrupt entry into the world, a newborn calf can stand up and run within an hour of being born
- Baby giraffes are about 6 feet tall at birth.
- A newborn giraffe will suckle its mother's milk as soon as it can stand up and calves are reliant on their mother's milk for up to 9-12 months
- Giraffes have no formal breeding seasons as they are designed to be able to shift feeding patterns in order to maintain a high nutrient diet throughout most of the year
- Giraffes communicate by emitting moans or low notes that humans can't hear. They can also whistle, hiss, moo and roar