Mama giraffe waits for ᴇxʜᴀᴜsᴛᴇᴅ newborn baby to show signs of life
A few lucky people visiting the Memphis Zoo located in Tennessee got to experience a one-of-a-kind moment that they will probably never forget. They got to see a female giraffe giving birth to her very first baby.
Why were people so enamored with this majestic creature and her ability to birth her baby into this world you ask? Maybe it was the uniqueness of the event or the ability to watch it live that drew us all in, similar to how many people watched a bald eagle nest earlier this year for the signs of a new baby bird emerging from its egg. Or maybe it’s just the miracle of birth and the ability to watch it unfold in a way that we as a society don’t get to see very often.
A female giraffe carries her fetus for 15 months, which might seem like a long time when compared to a human mother’s 9-month pregnancy. But other mammals carry their young for even longer. Gestation lasts for up to 16 months in sperm whales and up to 18 months in ᴋɪʟʟᴇʀ whales, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). And African elephants, the largest land animals alive today, gestate longer than any other mammal — 22 months, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
So, for many folks, waiting for April to birth was ʜᴀʀᴅ…and LLLLOOOOONNNNNGGGGG. If you were anything like me, you watched a lot on day 1 and thought, “Oh, this is it.” And then day two came and you thought “Oh thank goodness we got through the night and I didn’t miss it.” And then day 3 came and you thought “TODAY! Is the day.” And then, it was weeks which turned into months of waiting. Your patience was tested to the max, and some days you may have given up hope and wondering if something was wrong or if the veterinarians should intervene in some way. But they didn’t. They waited patiently for labor to begin on its own, and they encouraged us to do the same.
In the ɪɴᴛᴇɴsᴇ , you can see mom searching for the perfect place to deliver her offspring. And once the baby makes his entrance into the world, mom’s powerful instincts start to kick in and she assumes her role as a care provider with the kind of love and care only a mom can offer. Thankfully, the baby was perfectly healthy so the zoo keepers didn’t have to intervene. The allowed the new mom and her baby to spend time bonding and enjoying each other’s precious company. Make sure to share this special moment with all of your friends and family online right away.