Family Travel 2012

Nichole Livengood

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Animal Adventure: The Greenville Zoo welcomes a baby giraffe

Posted 11/15/2012 12:55:00 PM

The Greenville Zoo has welcomed a new baby to the fold. For weeks, thousands of people have watched live via GiraffeCam as Autumn the giraffe wandered around the paddock and barn at the Greenville Zoo. They were anxiously waiting for signs of the impending birth of her baby. Then at 11:49 p.m. on Oct. 22, as almost one million people watched from around the world, Autumn finally gave birth.

The zoo named the little male giraffe Kiko, which means Autumn’s child. After his first neo-natal exam, the zoo reported the little guy weighed 118 pounds and stands 5 feet 10 inches tall.

Giraffe Fun Fact: Giraffes give birth standing up and their babies are born hooves-first. That sure is a long drop to the ground. Giraffes are one of the few animals that are born with horns on their heads.

Zoo babies are born around the world every day, but the zoo gained a lot of attention by deciding to make this one live. “As an educational institution, I can’t imagine anything that would spur more people to learn as much as they can about giraffes. This has truly been a remarkable week for the zoo with the outpouring of appreciation we have received,” says Jeff Bullock, the zoo’s director. “The attention is great because it has allowed us to reach so many people around the world bringing attention not only to the Zoo but also the Upstate of South Carolina.”

You can check in Kiko to see how he’s adjusting to his new home here. If you’ve never seen a giraffe born, it’s something to see. You can watch the video of the birth here.

Kiko’s parents, Autumn and Walter are on a breeding loan to the zoo. Autumn came from the Franklin Park Zoo to be paired Walter, who came from the San Diego Zoo. Both animals arrived in Greenville in July 2007 as part of a three-way loan agreement. According to the agreement, the first calf born belongs to Franklin Park. The second calf will belong to the San Diego Zoo and the third calf will belong to the Greenville Zoo. Kiko will be at the zoo for about a year before moving to his new home.

Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the Greenville Zoo is a 14-acre facility operated by the city of Greenville that features hundreds of wildlife from all over the world including giraffe, monkeys, giant tortoises and elephants. The Greenville Zoo is open seven days a week, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7.75 for adults and $4.50 for children (ages 3 to 15.)

Click here for more information about the Greenville Zoo. You also can follow the zoo on Facebook at and Twitter.