SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sept. 20, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Hogle Zoo welcomed a new baby, Georgette, to the family this week.
“The young female hit the ground — literally — Monday, September 17 at 3:33am,” the zoo said in a birth announcement released Thursday. “Giraffes face up to a 5-foot fall when they’re born! The little pile of limbs was immediately cleaned up by mama, 16 year-old Pogo, and was standing up nursing within the hour.”
The newborn weighted 150 pounds when born, and, as of Thursday had gained an extra 16 pounds. Georgette stands 5 feet 9 inches, the zoo statement says.
“This is really exciting,” said Melissa Farr, lead keeper in African Savanna, said in the prepared statement. “Giraffes are pregnant for a really long time so it’s something you anticipate and wait for and it’s finally here. We’re so relieved it was an easy pregnancy for Pogo and to have a healthy little girl.”
The giraffe was named for a Hogle Zoo donor, the statement says. Mother Pogo is caring well for the baby, and the zoo’s other female giraffe, Kipenzi, has shown an interest as well.
“The day Georgetta was born Kip showed immediate interest: leaning over, licking and cleaning her,” Farr said. “We call her ‘Auntie Kip’ because she’s been so nurturing.”
Male giraffes don’t help raise their offspring, but Georgette’s father, 15-year-old Riley, also showed interest when he saw her in the winter yard.
“He came right over to the chute and wanted to know what was happening,” Farr said.
Giraffes have been an important part of Hogle Zoo since 1969, and the Zoo is proud of the 18 successful giraffe births over that time period.
Mother and child spent their first few days bonding, but will be on display to visitors during morning hours.