The Living Desert welcomes largest baby giraffe ever born at zoo

PALM DESERT/INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - The Living Desert announced the newest member of its family was born on Friday. Zoo officials said the giraffe calf was born at 9:30 a.m. to mother Tuli, and father, Hesabu. The calf hasn't been named yet. He weighs 185.9 pounds and stands 6'3" tall. 

Zoo officials said the calf is the largest giraffe born at The Living Desert.

“We are so excited to share the wonderful news of our new addition. Mother and calf are bonding and doing very well,” said Allen Monroe, President/CEO of The Living Desert. “Every birth is special, and this giraffe birth is a fulfilling part of our mission, since Tuli and Hesabu were brought to The Living Desert based on Species Survival Plan recommendations.”

This is the second calf for Tuli, and eighth calf for Hesabu – their first calf together, Ayo, was born July 2, 2015.  Tuli is six years old and came to The Living Desert in 2013 from the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Hesabu is 16 years old and has lived at The Living Desert since 2002.

“Tuli and her calf are doing very well. The well-baby exam on April 29, showed that all his vitals are within the normal range, and he is progressing as expected,” said Dr. Kevin Leiske, Veterinarian of The Living Desert.
The Living Desert is now home to a herd of eight giraffe, six males and two females. The calf will continue to bond with mom behind-the-scenes, and his exhibit debut will be announced soon.  

According to officials, the calf will now nurse for nine to 12 months, and begin eating foliage at about four months.  The giraffe will double his size in the first year of his life. Giraffe have their own individual spot-like markings and no two giraffe have the same pattern, similar to humans’ unique fingerprints.

The Living Desert welcomed another "zoo baby" earlier this year.

Photos: New baby jaguar born at the Living Desert

A jaguar, now named Mema, was born in January. A zoo supporter was able to name the jaguar cub.

Watch: Baby jaguar at The Living Desert 

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