The giraffe herd at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden has grown by one. Tessa, a 12-year-old, gave birth to a calf sired by 11-year-old Kimba early Monday morning. The baby hasn't been named yet. It's Tessa and Kimba's fourth together, and the 16th giraffe born at the Cincinnati Zoo.
"Tessa is our super mom," said Christina Gorsuch, curator of mammals at the Cincinnati Zoo. "She and baby are doing well and bonding behind the scenes at Giraffe Ridge." The parents both came to Cincinnati in 2008. Tessa came from the Houston Zoo, and Kimba was at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island.
In a press release, the Cincinnati Zoo reports there is no true breeding season for Maasai giraffe and females can become pregnant beginning at just four years of age. In the wild, up to three out of four calves die in their first few months, mostly because of predators.
In 2018, giraffes were listed as "vulnerable" on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List. Giraffe populations are suffering from a loss of habitat, trophy hunting and poaching.
The zoo reports another baby giraffe is on the way. Eight-year-old Cece is expecting her second calf in November.
The zoo has not given a date when Tessa and her new baby will be presented to the public.