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Boy, Oh Boy! Memphis Zoo Announces Birth of Baby Giraffe  

MEMPHIS, TENN. –     Oh boy! The Memphis Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a baby boy giraffe, “Bogey.” Bogey was born on Monday, April 3 at noon, while mother “Akili” was on exhibit. The infant was named in honor of Steve Bogardy, a long-time Memphis zookeeper, who recently passed away.

Akili did not provide appropriate maternal behavior, so the Zoo’s animal caretakers have stepped in to hand-rear the infant. This is not unusual, as Akili is a first-time mother.

“Our staff is hard at work, hand-raising our new little guy,” said Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs. “Our team has worked tirelessly around the clock to give him the best care available, and he’s already made great strides. We hope to have him on exhibit in the coming weeks.”

Reticulated giraffes give birth standing. Infants stand around six feet tall when born, and weigh over 100 pounds.  Reticulated giraffes are native to Africa and can grow between 15 and 17 feet tall. Females weigh around 2,500 pounds, while males weigh around 3,500.

About the Memphis Zoo’s Giraffes

The Memphis Zoo’s giraffe herd currently numbers eight. From 1996 to 2006, the Memphis Zoo did not have a single giraffe birth. Since 2006, a new giraffe calf has been born every year.  The Memphis Zoo has kept reticulated giraffes in the collection since August 1957.

Akili, the mother, was born at the Memphis Zoo in 2010, to mother “Marilyn.” The father, 7-year-old “Niklas,” came to the Memphis Zoo in 2015 from the Naples Zoo, in Florida. Bogey is the first calf for both Akili and Niklas.  

In the wild, reticulated giraffes live in loose herds, constructed of family groups. These groups can range from five to 15 members. The gestation period for a reticulated giraffe is 15 months.

Posted by Zoo Info at 10:44 AM

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