Statement as issued Wednesday by the Binder Park Zoo:
Battle Creek, MI June 27, 2012: A new arrival at Binder Park Zoo is making his debut. The new baby reticulated giraffe named Mosi meaning first born, was born on May 17th and can now be seen on exhibit in Wild Africa. The 113 pound, 5 foot tall bundle of joy is the fourth baby giraffe born at Binder Park Zoo. The first three were also boys, born back in 2009. This new addition brings the Zoo’s giraffe herd up to 10, which continues to be one of the nation’s largest herds of giraffe. Currently there are 5 females and 5 males residing at the Zoo.
The mother of the new baby, Kay, arrived at Binder Park Zoo in 2011 from the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas. Several months after her arrival zookeepers began to notice changes in Kay and started to suspect that she was pregnant. Their suspicions were confirmed when an ultrasound was performed and several weeks later a baby boy was born. He was very small at birth, but Kay has been an excellent mother and he is doing very well.
“After working with giraffe for over 17 years, it is still amazing to get up close with these beautiful yet strange animals,” said Jenny Barnett, Binder Park Zoo Director of Wildlife Management, Conservation and Education. “They have an incredible grace about them from the moment they are born.”
Binder Park Zoo offers guests a wonderful chance to have a unique and up close encounter with a giraffe at Twiga Overlook where giraffe feeding takes place. The 50 acre Wild Africa exhibit was opened in 1999 and doubled the size of the Zoo. Today it continues to be one of the Zoo’s most popular exhibits. Hand feeding a giraffe at Binder Park Zoo is a one of a kind experience.
The gestation period for giraffes is 14 to 15 months and calves can be up to 6 feet tall at birth. Giraffe babies start off their lives with a 6-foot drop into the world as their mothers give birth standing up. The giraffe is the tallest land animal and the reticulated giraffe is the most well-known of the giraffe subspecies. Their diet in the wild consist leaves and small branches of the thorny Acacia and Combretum tress.
About Binder Park Zoo
Over 7,000,000 people have visited Binder Park Zoo and an additional 500,000 have been served through outreach programs since it first opened in 1977. It is located outside of Battle Creek, Michigan, on 433 acres of natural forests and wetlands. In the past 36 years, the Zoo has grown to be one of the leading cultural attractions in the region. It was created on the model of an entrepreneurial self-supporting nonprofit organization, and is managed by a zoological society board of directors to "nurture empathy, understanding, and conservation of nature." In the last several years a conservation education center, a 40-acre natural wetlands exhibit, and the 50-acre Wild Africa exhibit and conservation carousel have been added to the original 80-acre zoo. Binder Park Zoo serves over 60,000 people annually in 30 different types of formal education programs and is heavily involved in conservation of wildlife and natural habitats on five continents. In cooperation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and others, Binder Park Zoo is actively working to conserve a wide array of endangered species both at the Zoo and worldwide.