On The Move
Male Giraffe Calf Makes Public Debut At Greenville Zoo
Oct 25, 2012
Nearly one million viewers watched live birth on GiraffeCam
GREENVILLE, SC - October 25, 2012 - The Greenville Zoo welcomed the newest member to its animal family, a male giraffe calf. Autumn, the zoo’s 6-year-old female Masai giraffe, gave birth at 11:49 p.m. on October 22. This is the first baby for Autumn and Walter, 7-year-old male.
Nearly one million viewers worldwide watched the birth of the giraffe on the zoo’s new GiraffeCam on live streaming video. The calf stood for the first time at 12:45 a.m. and
began nursing at 1:52 a.m.
“This was a tremendous success for the Greenville Zoo and our community,” said Greenville Zoo Director Jeff Bullock. “We were amazed at the number of people who followed Autumn through her pregnancy and watched the live birth on the GiraffeCam. Viewers had the opportunity to experience the angst and excitement that zoo staff around the world deal with as part of their daily duties, the birth of an animal.”
Local radio station MY102.5 celebrated the pending arrival of the giraffe calf for months with a contest to pick the birth date and weight of the baby, as well as a “name the baby” contest. The name submissions were narrowed down and zoo staff selected Kiko, meaning autumn’s child.
Early Wednesday morning, Autumn and Kiko underwent a routine neonatal exam. Kiko is approximately 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighs more than 118 pounds. He could eventually grow to 16 feet and weigh as much as 2,600 pounds. Kiko will be on exhibit daily with his mother, but will alternate exhibit time with Walter. When on exhibit, visitors can expect to see him doing what most babies do, nursing and sleeping. As he grows, he will become more active and very curious.
Initially, Autumn and Kiko will be on exhibit during the first part of the day so that they have plenty of time shifting on and off exhibit. Once they are shifting well, Walter will spend the morning on exhibit, allowing Autumn and Kiko to enjoy the afternoons. Daily activity will be dependent upon weather conditions. The zoo ticket booth will be kept informed as to who is on exhibit to provide visitors with the information. Visitors driving in from out of town should call ahead if their main intention is to see the new baby.
Both Walter and Autumn are on loan to the Greenville Zoo as part of a breeding loan. Autumn came from the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, where she was born on January 7, 2006. Walter was born on November 9, 2005 and came from the San Diego Zoo. Both animals arrived in Greenville in July 2007 as part of a three-way loan agreement. According to the agreement, the first calf belongs to the owner of the dam, which is the Franklin Park Zoo. The second calf will belong to the owner of the sire (the San Diego Zoo) and the third calf will belong to the Greenville Zoo.
Now that Kiko has arrived, MY 102.5 is again partnering with the zoo to plan a baby shower to celebrate. The event is scheduled for Saturday, November 10 from 10 a.m. – Noon (additional details to come).
About the Greenville Zoo
Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), Greenville Zoo is rated one of the best tourist attractions in South Carolina, attracting over 270,000 people annually. Operated by the City of Greenville, the 14-acre facility features wildlife from around the world including giraffes, monkeys, giant tortoises and elephants. Visitors can also enjoy one of the zoo’s most popular exhibits, the Reptile Building, which is home to a variety of lizards, frogs, turtles and snakes.
The Greenville Zoo is open seven days a week, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Zoo entry ticket sales will close at 4:15 p.m. Admission to the Greenville Zoo is $7.75 for adults and $4.50 for children (ages 3 to 15). For more information about the Greenville Zoo, visit www.greenvillezoo.com. Follow the zoo on Facebook at facebook.com/greenvillezoo and Twitter at twitter.com/greenvillezoo.