April 10, 2017
Giraffes may be endangered, but the Memphis Zoo is doing their share to reproduce this beautiful creature!
Visitors to the Memphis Zoo got to witness a live giraffe birth when the giraffe on exhibit gave birth in the middle of the day, Monday April 3rd, 2017. The little baby was too weak to stand; zookeepers teamed up to move her back with her mother for special nursing and bonding time. Reticulated Giraffes are endangered. The Memphis Zoo has had much success breeding giraffes and they frequently have babies on exhibit.
The Memphis Zoo 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 Bogarty, a long-time Memphis zookeeper, who recently passed away." Memphis Zoo officials released on Monday.
"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" officials said.
“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." according to the Memphis Zoo.
As a longtime photojournalist in Memphis, I have been photographing the Memphis Zoo animals for many years. One of my favorite animals to photograph has been the giraffe. Many years ago I photographed this touching shot above of a mother giraffe nuzzling her newborn giraffe shortly after she was born. It has become one of my best known and most loved photographs and one that I will be most remembered by.
The image went viral shortly after publications and has been going viral ever since. It has been published literally millions of times all over the world. Many people have seen it and love it, but because it went viral without credit, often people do not know that it was taken at the Memphis Zoo nor that I had taken it.
"Reticulated giraffe historically ranged from north-central Kenya to southern Somalia and Ethiopia. However, over just the past 15 years they have declined drastically by ~80%, from 36,000 to about 8,600 today. If this trend continued, these giraffe could be extinct by 2020." according to The Giraffe Conservation Foundation.
Signed prints of these images are available for purchase, Contact www.karenpulferfocht.com
I also create gifts, cards and art for the Memphis Zoo gift shop so if you happen to visit the Memphis Zoo stop in the gift shop and browse. https://www.memphiszoo.org
~~~ Karen Pulfer Focht-Photojournalist, Memphis, Tn.
VIDEO FROM THE MEMPHIS ZOO LEAP YEAR BABY LAST YEAR BELOW-
About the Memphis Zoo’s Giraffes (provided by the Memphis Zoo)
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.