MEMPHIS, Tenn. – It's a Boy! The Memphis Zoo announced the arrival of a male baby reticulated giraffe at approximately 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 12.
The new addition has been named Wakati by the keepers. The baby giraffe was born on exhibit as his mom, Wendy, chose to remain outside through labor in the giraffe lot open area.
“We are thrilled to welcome Wakati to our giraffe family as we’ve been waiting awhile for this new baby,” shared Courtney Janney, area curator. “Wakati means “time” in Swahili and we felt it was a good fit for our new arrival. Wendy immediately began showing appropriate maternal instincts and we anticipate her keeping a close eye on Wakati as he integrates into the herd and begins to show independence.”
Wakati is Memphis Zoo’s second giraffe birth in three months. His parents are first-time mom Wendy and father, Niklas, who is also dad to Bogey, born April 3 of this year.
Wakati’s first medical check-up happened the day after he was born.
“Wakati’s neonatal exam went great! He looks strong and healthy,” said Dr. Felicia Knightly, senior veterinarian at Memphis Zoo Animal Hospital. “Wakati is 5’10” in height and weighed in at 125 pounds. He’s nursing well and Wendy is already taking good care of him.”
Wakati has also been welcomed into the herd by another female, Angela Kate, who was in the yard during Wakati’s first steps. Although Wendy started to bond with Wakati moments after the birth by licking him clean and encouraging first steps, Angela Kate remained close by to help.
Wakati joined the zoo's nine other reticulated giraffes in the exhibit on Friday.
The Zoo has celebrated many baby animal births this year, and you can keep up with all of their antics on the Memphis Zoo's social media accounts.