One hundred and seventy seven centimeters, (or five feet, ten inches) is the average height of a while human male in the United States. Or, the height of Peoria Zoo’s youngest resident, a female baby giraffe, born on the 7th of January. There are only about 100,000 giraffes left in the world, according to estimates, so this is a very happy event indeed. Her mother, the beloved giraffe Vivian, must be proud of her… quite frankly huge bundle of joy, as the baby weighs 55,6 kilograms (122 pounds).
These are perfectly natural figures for a baby giraffe. These are known to be some of the largest newborn land mammals on the planet. Scientists have studied the way giraffes give birth, and there are a number of peculiar facts about the process. For example, newborns have to drop six feet when exiting the birth canal, and they land square on their heads. This acts a bit like a doctor’s slap on the bum for a human newborn, prompting the baby giraffe to take its first deep breath. But unlike a human baby, one hour later, it can already walk on its own.
Given that the newborn giraffe is female, it can be expected that it will almost triple its height within the next three or four years, and could become as heavy as seven hundred kilograms (approximately 1,500 pounds). Mother Vivian will take care of her baby for the next four years.
The newborn giraffe hasn’t yet been given a name. Zoo authorities are debating whether to hold a competition, or a poll, to give animal lovers the chance to pick a name. However, given the track record of polls when it comes to naming, perhaps another idea would be wiser (we’re looking at you, “Boaty McBoatface” people!). In any case, the baby giraffe and her mother will be given a few weeks of privacy before visitors are allowed to see them together.