July 15, 2014

Waiting For a Baby Giraffe

Kiko, 4 days old
© Barbara V. Evers, All rights reserved.

In October 2012, I hovered near computer screens so I could watch EarthCam's view of the giraffe paddock and barn at the Greenville Zoo.  Why?  Autumn was pregnant and due to deliver her baby giraffe any day.  At 11:49pm on October 22, Kiko entered the world.  I watched the birth on EarthCam and held my breath until this beautiful little guy managed to get to his feet and take his first steps.  Four days later, I headed to the zoo to meet this wonderful creature.

Once again, I hover near my computer screen watching EarthCam. Autumn is due to give birth again, either this month or next. I have my iPad open to the EarthCam app while I type on my laptop.  When I'm conducting a training workshop, I access EarthCam during the breaks.  The participants and I watch while we talk about one of my favorite subjects:  giraffes.


As I am writing this, Kiko wandered into view on EarthCam, so I snapped a quick screenshot to share with you.

Kiko on EarthCam

A few weeks ago, I took my grandchildren to the zoo to see Kiko and check on his parents.  I managed to capture some wonderful pictures on my phone of Kiko walking beside his father, Walter.  He's grown quite a bit over the last 21 months!

Walter and Kiko, June 2014
© Barbara V. Evers, All rights reserved.

A few giraffe facts:
  • Pregnancies last from 13 - 15 months.
  • Newborns fall approximately 6 feet to the ground and are approximately 6 feet tall at birth
  • They often walk within the first hour
  • The spots on their coats are like fingerprints, each giraffe's is unique
  • Their long necks have 7 vertebrae just like humans, but their's are much larger
  • Giraffes have a four chamber stomach like cows, so they're often seen chewing their cud
Want to know more about giraffes?  Check out the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.  This important organization seeks to save giraffes from extinction.  We don't hear much about their dwindling numbers because they don't infringe on farming lands and are not poached for ivory or other items the public finds valuable, but their numbers are drastically low.

I can't imagine a world without giraffes.  Can you?

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