You'll be seeing double the next time you walk by Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's giraffe exhibit. For the second time in two months, the Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a healthy female giraffe calf.
The baby Masai giraffe, named "Lily" by Zoo employees, arrived shortly before midnight on September 18, standing 6 feet tall and weighing 144 pounds. She's doing well and getting to know the rest of her herd, including "Grace," who was born just two months ago on August 10.
The two baby giraffes are now on exhibit together daily, along with the Zoo's five other female giraffes. Everyone seems to be getting along very well.
"The two little ones are really playful," said Animal Keeper Heather Strawn. "Grace will go over to the little one to play, and she's really receptive. They'll run around the yard together and play a lot."
The newest giraffe calf is the 7th for mother, "Lindi," who was born at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in 1985. The baby is the 13th for father, "Walker," who moved to the Louisville Zoo in June to breed with female giraffes there.
To date, 42 giraffes have been born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo since starting its giraffe-breeding program in 1959. The Zoo's herd of seven giraffes is one of the largest in the country, and the Zoo has 13 others on loan to other zoos nationwide.
Giraffes are the tallest animals on earth, with females growing up to 14 feet tall and males up to 18 feet tall. Native to Kenya, Masai giraffes can weigh up to 3,000 pounds and have tongues that are about a foot-and-a-half long.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is an affordable and close-to-home getaway for Northeast Ohio. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $10 per person, $6 for kids ages 2 to 11 and free for children under 2 and Zoo members. Parking is free. Located at 3900 Wildlife Way, the Zoo is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 77, 90 and 480.