Toronto Zoo welcomes new baby giraffe and the videos are adorable
The baby giraffe that Toronto Zoo staff have been eagerly awaiting for more than 475 days finally arrived in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, and the videos they've shared of the new addition to the family are too cute to handle.
The newborn, which they're calling Baby Long Legs for now, is the healthy and happy offspring of six-year-old Masai giraffe Mstari and her mate, seven-year-old Kiko. It is the first calf for both parents, who were paired up by experts to help conserve the endangered species, native to sub-Saharan Africa.
Masai populations have dwindled to less than half of what they were 30 years ago, with fewer than 35,000 individuals left in the wild, according to the zoo.
#BabyLongLegs has arrived 🦒 🍼. . In the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 12, 2020, Mstari, a six-year-old female Masai giraffe at the Toronto Zoo, gave birth to a healthy calf. Both mom and calf are doing well and Wildlife Care Keepers continue to monitor Mstari and calf closely to ensure calf continues to nurse from Mstari regularly. . This is the first offspring for both mother Mstari and father Kiko, a seven-year-old male who came to Toronto Zoo from Greenville Zoo in South Carolina in 2015. The pairing of Kiko and Mstari was at the recommendation of the AZA Masai giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program among accredited zoos. . Fewer than 35,000 Masai giraffes survive in the wild, having experienced more than a 50% decline in the past 30 years. Illegal hunting and habitat loss are their primary threats. The Toronto Zoo is part of the AZA Masai Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP) and continues to support field conservation efforts for the species; Mstari is currently the most genetically valuable female in the SSP, and so this calf represents an important genetic contribution to the North American population. The Toronto Zoo has had 19 giraffes born since 1980, and this birth represents the first third-generation Toronto-born giraffe - both Mstari and her mother, Twiga, were also born at the Toronto Zoo. . Watch the full video on our Facebook, Twitter or YouTube page🦒 #savingspecies
Both Mstari and her own mother were born at the Toronto facility — which is a participant in the AZA Masai Giraffe Species Survival Plan and has ushered the arrival of 19 new giraffes — making this baby the first third-generation Toronto-born giraffe, the zoo added in the caption of one adorable video of mom and calf shared to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
The footage shows Mstari loving on and cleaning Baby Long Legs, who is particularly curious about the camera filming the duo and comes right up to sniff around and investigate. The inquisitive calf is also the star of a second video on the zoo's TikTok page.
Both giraffes are doing well and are being closely monitored by zookeepers.
Meanwhile, the other resident animals have been getting up to all sorts of antics while us humans are stuck in lockdown and are unable to come see them.
The lack of visitors has unfortunately meant that the Toronto Zoo is struggling to afford being able to feed its 5,000 animals, and is asking for help from the public until we can all get back there in-person again — which will hopefully be sooner rather than later.
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