Baby Giraffe Debut At The L.A. Zoo

News Release
April 23, 2009

CONTACT: Elizabeth Leider/
(323) 644-4273

L.A. Zoo Announces Births of Giraffe

The Los Angeles Zoo is proud to announce the births of a Masai giraffe and rare Peninsular pronghorn twins; as well as the arrival of eight black-tailed prairie dogs!


On April 5, 2009, a male Masai giraffe was born here at the L.A. Zoo! He’s currently in the giraffe habitat with his parents, Neema and Artimus. Able to stand shortly after birth, calves can grow four feet during their first year. When full grown, giraffes can reach a height of 18 feet, making them tallest land mammal.

Native to Kenya and Tanzania, giraffes can reach a speed of 35 miles per hour. Their kicks are so powerful that they’re capable of decapitating a lion.

Giraffes communicate with one another through posturing, movement, the way they carry their tails, retreat and sometimes vocalization, which can include moos, bellows and whistles.

L.A. Zoo Announces Births of Pronghorns

On March 30, 2009, twin male Peninsular pronghorns were born! This is the second pair of pronghorn twins born at the L.A. Zoo, the first were born in March, 2008. So far the L.A. Zoo is the only institution in the U.S. to breed this rare species.


Native to Baja California Sur, Mexico, only about 250 Peninsular pronghorns exist in the wild. Hunting, cattle ranching and agriculture have resulted in the significant decrease of this species. These graceful animals are mostly active at dawn and dusk, which is when they graze on various plants including shrubs, weeds, cacti, sagebrush and grasses.

Newborns take their first steps within 30 minutes of birth. By the time they are four days old, they can outrun humans. After just a week, fawns can run faster than dogs and horseback riders over short distances. They are the second fastest land mammal and the fastest ungulate (hoofed mammal), clocking in at anywhere from 40 to 60 miles per hour. They can maintain this speed, without showing any sign of distress, for an hour or longer.

L.A. Zoo Welcomes Prairie Dogs

In late March, eight new black-tailed prairie dogs, one male and seven females, began exploring their habitat located in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo.


Native to large areas of the western United States, prairie dogs live in “towns” that consist of a system of interconnecting burrows. These “towns” can extend for miles and consist of thousands of animals. In fact, a prairie dog settlement covering 25,000 square miles was discovered in 1900 in Texas. It’s estimated that 400 million prairie dogs lived there.

These animals will be available to the media on Friday, April 24 from 9:30 A.M till 12:00 P.M. If you plan on filming these animals please arrive early as they are most active in the morning. Park in the Zoo’s main lot and proceed to the bus circle where a cart will transport you to their habitat. To request photos or RSVP for Friday please call (323) 644-4273.

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Admission is $12 for adults and $7 for children ages 2 to 12. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the L. A. Zoo website at

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For general information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the website at

“Nurturing wildlife and enriching the human experience”

Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles
California 90027
Fax 323/644-4240


John R. Lewis
Zoo Director

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9 Responses

  1. Conspiracy girl
    | Reply


    I am really glad that Los Angeles Zoo is proud to announce the births of a Masai giraffe coz as what I know that giraffe now a days are very rare already……

    • Kevin Peterson
      | Reply

      It’s encouraging to hear about events like this rather than the usual doom and gloom.

  2. Saddy
    | Reply

    It’s encouraging to hear about events. I think giraffe does not belong to an endangered species.

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