Have you ever wondered about baby giraffes? In this post, you’ll learn 17 facts about baby giraffes, including birth, size, abilities, diet, gestation period, and more. Also, there’ll be tons of photos and videos of these adorable creatures.
17 Baby Giraffe Facts
Native to Africa, giraffes are currently classified into four different species. The following facts on baby giraffes will cover all species involved. They’ll also cover both female and male baby giraffes.
Baby Giraffe Overview
- Baby Name: Calves
- Gestation Period: 14-15 months (around 460 days)
- Height: 5 to 6 feet (1.52 to 1.82 meters)
- Weight: 100 to 150 pounds (45.3 kg to 68 kg)
- Diet: mother’s milk for 4-6 months (it may nurse 9-12 months); then begins sampling low growing plants
1. What are baby giraffes called?
Baby giraffes are known as calves (calf singular).
More reading: 9 Facts About Giraffe Tongues
2. How long is the gestation period of a baby giraffe?
The gestation period of a baby giraffe is around 15 months, or 460 days. This allows the time needed for the embryo to develop in size.
3. What happens when a baby giraffe is born?
At birth, baby giraffes come out front feet first. The head and neck are stretched out over the front knees. This allows the baby to cushion itself when it comes out, as mother giraffes will give birth standing up.
The fall and impact break the umbilical cord and natal sac. The fall also causes the little one to take its first breath.
4. What happens right after birth?
Right after they’re born, baby giraffes rest where they’ve landed for around an hour.
They’re born with their eyes open.
The mothers will lick their babies to dry the skin and stimulate circulation.
Baby Giraffe Video Compilation
5. Do giraffes have twins?
It’s very rare for baby giraffes to have twins. One such situation happened in 2013 at a nature reserve in the United States. It was only the second occurrence of twin baby giraffes in the United States at the time.
6. How long before baby giraffes can walk?
After resting just one hour after birth, baby giraffes are able to stand walk, and even run to keep up with the herd!
Baby Giraffe Taking it’s First Steps
Here’s some footage of a newborn baby giraffe, born at the Wilds, Columbus Zoo.
7. How tall are baby giraffes when they’re born?
Just because they’re babies, doesn’t mean they’re little. Compared to adult giraffes, sure, they’re tiny.
But in reality, baby giraffes come out of the womb at a staggering 6 feet tall (1.82 meters)! (This author, standing at 5ft6, is quite jealous).
8. How much do baby giraffes weigh?
Baby giraffes aren’t light either. At birth, they can weigh 100 to 150 pounds (45.3 kg to 68 kg).
9. How much will baby giraffes grow in the first year?
They can grow to double their size after their first year.
Baby giraffes can grow up to 0.98 inches (2.5 cm) every day during their first week after birth.
10. What do baby giraffes look like?
Both male and female baby giraffes are born with little horns on the top of their heads called “ossicones”, which are made up of cartilage and covered with skin.
Females have thinner ossicones, with longer hair at the top. Males have larger ones, with knobs at the end, and become bald at the top as they get older.
The ossicones lay flat on their heads when born, but begin to prop up a few days later.
Percentage-wise, baby giraffe necks are smaller than adult ones, most likely to fit inside the womb.
Watch New Baby Giraffe Be Born at Australia Zoo
Within 55 minutes, this newborn giraffe is standing and beginning to suckle.
11. What do baby giraffes eat?
For the first four to six months of their lives, baby giraffes are fed exclusively by their mothers’ milk. They can nurse up to nine to 12 months.
After four to six months, baby giraffes start sampling low-growing plants as well as being nourished by the milk. Mothers will pull leaves from higher areas and feed them to the babies.
Read more: What Do Giraffes Eat?
12. Who takes care of baby giraffes?
Baby giraffes are taken care of primarily by their mothers, who’ll feed, clean and teach the babies to take care of themselves.
Males don’t take part in actually raising baby giraffes, but they will defend the herd they’re traveling with from any predators.
13. How do baby giraffes travel?
Baby giraffes travel with their mothers in herds of around 10 to 20, sometimes up to 50 individual animals.
Besides the babies and their mothers, the herds are not very close knit, as any member can leave at will.
14. What happens if the mother leaves the baby giraffe?
If the mother leaves for any reason, the baby giraffe will stay in the same location until she returns.
Also, females may use “babysitters”. They’ll leave their baby giraffes in the care of a female in the same herd in an area called a crèche. The others can go eat and drink in peace.
15. How long will baby giraffes stay with their mothers?
Generally, baby giraffes will stay with their mothers between 18 to 24 months.
Females may travel with their mothers from time to time throughout their lives, while males old enough to fend for themselves go off to form bachelor groups.
16. What is the survival rate of baby giraffes?
The survival rate of baby giraffes are astonishingly low, as nearly 75 percent of the calves don’t get a chance to become adults.
The reason being is that although they may be ready to walk within an hour of birth, they still need lots of rest during the first couple of weeks of their life.
Baby giraffes rest lying down, which leaves them more susceptible to predator attacks.
17. Where can I see baby giraffes?
If you’re in North America, here are some zoos you can find baby giraffes:
- Cheyenne Mountain Zoo ( Colorado)
- San Diego Zoo (California)
- Cincinnati Zoo (Ohio)
- Bronx Zoo (New York)
- Detroit Zoo (Michigan)
Traveling to see these adorable animals in the wild? Don’t forget your safari sun hat.
Learn more about Rothschild’s Giraffe (Nubian Subspecies)
Learn about cheetah cubs: 14 Cute Baby Cheetah Facts
Did you already know these baby giraffe facts? Are you ready to see one in person? Did we leave anything out? Let us know in the comments below!