The Toronto Zoo is about to welcome a baby giraffe
Happy World Giraffe Day, apparently!
The Toronto Zoo just dropped a good news bombshell in honour of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation's annual day of recognition with the announcement of an impending new addition to their family of Masai giraffes.
"Mstari is expecting her first calf!" wrote the zoo on Facebook with a very cute pregnancy announcement photo. "Mstari is five months into her 15-month-long pregnancy, just past the first trimester."
Five-year-old Mstari, who herself was born in Toronto, and six-year-old Kiko, who was born in South Carolina, are expecting their new calf sometime in April of 2020 — though, as the zoo notes, it's hard to nail down a date with giraffe pregnancies ranging from 400 to 488-days-long.
"The Zoo is excited that Mstari has reached the five-month milestone, but there are still ten months before the calf is expected to arrive, and it will be some time before Mstari starts 'showing.'" writes the zoo.
"Since this will be Mstari's first calf, Wildlife Care Keepers are preparing for a higher risk pregnancy, birth, and neonatal period, since (as with all first-time moms) it is unknown how Mstari will react to the arrival of the baby."
No word yet on if the zoo plans on livestreaming the new giraffe's birth, similar to what New York's Animal Adventure Park did with the now-famous April in 2017.
What we do know is that the conservation status of Masai giraffes was just elevated to Endangered in December of 2018.
"Fewer than 35,000 Masai giraffes survive in the wild, having experienced more than a 50 per cent decline in the past 30 years. Illegal hunting and habitat loss are their primary threats," explains the Toronto Zoo.
"The Toronto Zoo is part of the AZA Masai Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP), and with Mstari currently being the most genetically valuable female in the North American Masai Giraffe SSP, this expectant calf is very important."
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