COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) — Are you ready for Giraffe Watch 2019?! The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo announced Tuesday that a member of their herd is expecting! And, yes, there are plans in the works to live stream a “birth cam” starting on Tuesday, May 28.
“The rumors are true! Msitu, mom to Rae and Emy, is pregnant with her third calf,” zoo officials wrote on Facebook.
Msitu, a 10-year-old reticulated giraffe, bred with Khalid on April 4, 2018, so she’s just over a year into the pregnancy — which can last 14-15 months. The 14-month mark would be June 4. But, as you may know, a giraffe’s gestation period can be unpredictable!
“A few members of the giraffe care team are here today to share their insights into this pregnancy, including what we know so far, why we’re cautiously optimistic, what physical changes we’ve seen so far, and how you can win a FREE behind-the-scenes giraffe experience!”

They’re going to build a sand stall next week and move Msitu there to give the calf a “nice, soft, cushy landing.” It also keeps the area dry and will give the calf a soft place to land (after a drop of about five feet at birth!) and as it tests out its legs and learns to walk.

“The sand helps mom and baby in a few ways: by preventing injury to the calf upon the five-foot drop it encounters as it’s born, by providing a more absorbent substrate that helps prevent slips for the baby’s first steps, and by providing a cushion for the calf as it learns to walk and inevitably stumbles,” officials said.

Penny, a calf born in 2018, had to be euthanized after falling several times and dislocating a hip.

Veterinarians Make Difficult Decision To Euthanize Penny The Giraffe

Msitu will continue to go out with the herd most days and then at night she’ll be secluded in the sand stall.

You can guess the date, hour and minute she’ll give birth — but only the most recent guess will count. Will it be on June 21 — World Giraffe Day? It could be! Click here to enter your guess! The winner will get a behind-the-scene experience with the giraffes and the staff at CMZ.

CMZoo plans to provide weekly Facebook Live updates from the giraffe barn.

The average birth height of a giraffe is 5 1/2 to 6 feet, and the average birth weight is 87-107 pounds.

Officials addressed the misdiagnosed pregnancy of Laikipia, which they say was actually an ovarian cyst — which is not a fatal condition.

Giraffe Laikipia (Cheyenne Mountain Zoo)

“She doesn’t seem to be having any ill-effects from that,” officials said. “It does produce elevated levels of progesterone.”

Zoo officials said they’ve done a variety of tests on Msitu and she’s “definitely pregnant.”

Emy, born in 2013, now resides at Peoria Zoo in Peoria, Ill. Rae, born in 2017, remains with the herd in Colorado Springs.


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