Conservation

Masai Giraffe Babies Are on the Way at Santa Barbara Zoo

Two of the endangered animals, Adia and Audrey, are expecting in the months ahead.

Santa Barbara Zoo

What to Know

  • Adia is due in January 2022 and Audrey is due in July 2022
  • Michael, the adult male in the habitat, is the sire to both giraffes
  • This is Adia's second calf and Audrey's seventh; giraffes have a 15-month gestation

SWEETNESS X TWO: How would you describe a newborn giraffe? "Bouncing" doesn't seem quite right, and suggesting the youngster is full of gurgles and smiles would be putting too fanciful a spin on the situation. But "utterly adorable" works, and "quick to stand" is accurate, and "always surprisingly tall" applies, even if you do definitely know that a newborn giraffe will be on the long-of-leg side. Whatever words you might summon for the magical moment, best start finding them soon, for not one but two endangered Masai Giraffes at the Santa Barbara Zoo are pregnant.

THE HAPPY NEWS... was announced on Aug. 27. 2021, but we'll have several months to anticipate the big days. Adia is expecting in January 2022, Audrey is due in July 2022, and Michael is the sire to both. Interesting to note? This will be Adia's second baby. Twiga, her first, and also sired by Michael, was born just after the zoo shuttered at the start of the pandemic closures in March 2020. Audrey has had four babies sired by Michael, and the calf due next July will be her seventh. Further good news? Ten Masai giraffes will have been born at the zoo, including the two that are now due, since 2013. And the zoo shares this: "Michael is the most genetically important male Masai giraffe in North America, as he is only related to his offspring."

15 MONTHS: That's the gestation period for a giraffe, so ruminant mavens will have some time to anticipate the moments when the thrilling birth watches finally begin for both mothers-to-be. "We’re excited to welcome another Masai giraffe to our herd and continue to contribute to the population of this endangered species," said Dr. Julie Barnes, the Zoo’s Vice President of Animal Care & Health. "This is a great example of the critical work done at the Santa Barbara Zoo with our incredible animal care team."

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THE SANTA BARBARA ZOO GIRAFFES... are "... among more than 120 Masai giraffes that live at 28 North American zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums." Find out more now, and begin the clock on your giraffe-focused anticipation, by visiting the Santa Barbara Zoo's site now.

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