Hello Up There, James Marjani
October 6, 2011
Just a few weeks old, but no pipsqueak: A male Baringo giraffe calf is the newest member of the tallest family at the zoo. The baby, named James Marjani, was born on September 14, 2011 to Margaret Sukari and James Michael.
He was approximately six feet tall at birth and estimated to weigh more than 100 pounds.
James Marjani is the first giraffe calf born at the Bronx Zoo since February 2009. He quickly bonded with his mother in the Carter Giraffe Building and joins the rest of the herd on nice days on the African Plains. He will nurse for approximately one year, but keepers expect him to begin sampling solid food at three months of age. Eventually he will transition to a diet of leaves, alfalfa hay, kale, pelleted grain, and produce.
Giraffe newborns start walking during their earliest hours and double their height within the first two years. As an adult, James Marjani could grow to more than 17-feet-tall and weigh close to 4000 pounds. In addition to his long legs and neck, he’ll also have a long tongue—up to 18 inches. Giraffes use their tongues to grasp branches and pull leaves from trees.
In anticipation of the birth, zookeepers prepared a stall with a heavy layer of straw bedding to help absorb the impact of the calf’s 6-foot drop from his mother. They kept mom and baby separated from the other giraffes for several days to give them time to bond, then slowly introduced them to the rest of the herd.
The Bronx Zoo names all of its giraffes in memory of Mr. and Mrs. James Carter, benefactors for whom the Carter Giraffe Building is named. His birth brings the herd to eight animals in total.
are native to grasslands, savannahs, and open woodlands in central, east, and southern Africa. The Baringo giraffe (AKA Rothschild’s giraffe) is found in western Kenya and eastern Uganda. While populations are still robust in many places, the population is decreasing overall. WCS is working to protect giraffes in key African landscapes like Zakouma, Chad, Murchison Falls, Uganda, and in the Sahel of South Sudan.
The calf will be on exhibit intermittently for the next several weeks as he adjusts to his new surroundings. Exhibit times will vary.