Family Travel 2012

Nichole Livengood



New baby giraffe on exhibit at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

Posted 12/17/2012 4:24:00 PM

Surprise! It’s a boy. Zookeepers at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia were taken aback when Sharon, one of its female giraffes, gave birth to a 100 pound calf in late October. “Because all of our females are on birth control, we really didn’t expect that Sharon was pregnant,” said John Davis, curator of mammals at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. “Winston’s arrival was quite a shock.” Though he was unexpected, the zoo happily welcomes the little male calf to the herd.

Now six weeks old, Winston is happy, healthy and roaming around the African Savanna exhibit with eight other members of the herd. He’s the seventh giraffe birth at the zoo since February 2009.

Though he was hand reared because of a weight problem after he was born, he is doing great now. When he’s full grown, Winston could be as tall as 18 feet and weigh as much as 2,600 pounds. Winston is the third baby to parents Sharon and Charlie.

If you’d like to visit Winston, the zoo is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission is $11.75 for adults; $9.25 for children ages 3-12 years old; free for children 2 and younger; military (with military ID) and senior citizens ages 62 and older are $10.75. Group rates are available. For more information visit the zoo website.