Zoo Miami Celebrates Debut of Newborn Giraffe While Mourning the Loss of a Newborn Okapi


Zoo Miami Celebrates Debut of Newborn Giraffe While Mourning the Loss of a Newborn Okapi

On Wednesday, April 15th, at 10:00 a.m., Zoo Miami’s newest baby giraffe made its first appearance on exhibit with the rest of the herd! 

The baby was born on Wednesday, April 8th, to a 4 ½  year old female named, “Sabra.”  Though this is Sabra’s 1st baby, it is the 47th giraffe born in the history of Zoo Miami.  Sabra arrived at Zoo Miami from the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa in November of 2013.  The father’s name was “Fezzik,” born at the St. Louis Zoo and arrived at Zoo Miami in May of 1998 but died in November of last year due to age related crippling arthritis.

The newborn weighed 108 pounds, stood a little over 5 feet tall and was determined to be a female during its neonatal exam.  It is has been named, “Princess Buttercup.”

Giraffe have a pregnancy of approximately 15 months and the mother rarely, if ever, lies down while giving birth.  The baby falls about 4-6 feet to the floor where it receives quite an impactful introduction to the world! 

On a much sadder note, Zoo Miami is sorry to announce that the long awaited birth of an Okapi, a rare relative of the giraffe from the forests of Central Africa, resulted in the survival of the calf lasting only a few hours.  This was a devastating loss to the zoo family as it would have been the first successful birth of this very rare animal in the zoo’s history.  Though it was born alive on Friday, April 10th, after a normal pregnancy that had been carefully monitored, the newborn was severely underweight and very weak.  It had great difficulty trying to stand normally and sadly died only a few hours after birth.  Initial results from a necropsy did not show any obvious cause of death other than a very low birth weight and what may be some anomalies of the heart.  Further tests are pending.

RON MAGILL, Zoo Communications Director
305-251-0400, ext. 84916 – Zoo Miami