CINCINNATI — A healthy Maasai giraffe was born at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Saturday morning, zoo officials announced.
Eight-year-old Cece went into labor at about 5 a.m. Saturday and gave birth to a healthy baby giraffe at 6:07 a.m.
Within an hour after birth, the 6-foot-tall calf was standing on its own and bonding with Mom Cece, who is also doing fine, officials said. The sex of the baby has not yet been determined.
Great news from the giraffe barn!Cece delivered a calf at 6:07am this morning. Mom & calf, sex not yet determined, are doing well & bonding in Giraffe Ridge barn. This is much-needed good news for the giraffe team after the devastating loss of Kimba, the baby's dad, last week pic.twitter.com/DcwEaNd9jd— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) November 23, 2019
“Our Zoo Volunteer Observer (ZVO) team has been monitoring Cece overnight for almost a month,” said the zoo’s Curator of Mammals Christina Gorsuch. “They noticed signs of labor at about 4:51 this morning and notified the giraffe team. The calf arrived about an hour later!”
It’s "much-needed good news" for the zoo as it mourns the loss of Kimba, a 12-year-old giraffe and the new baby's father.
“We’re all sad that Kimba isn’t here to meet his seventh calf, but thankful that he made such an important contribution to the survival of his species,” Gorsuch said. “This baby, and 5-month-old Fenn, will ensure Kimba’s lasting legacy.”
Giraffes were listed as a vulnerable species on the ICUN Red List in 2018 due to habitat loss, trophy hunting and other factors. Up to 75% of giraffe calves die in the wild during their first few months of life due to predation, zoo officials said.
The zoo will announce when the public will be able to see the new baby.