Giraffes are all the rage on Facebook right now because of a riddle that is making the social media rounds, making it seem like a great time to write about the giraffes at Brookfield Zoo in the Chicago area. Giraffe pictures are fun to look at on Facebook, but they are even more interesting in reality. Brookfield Zoo is a popular attraction, in the Chicago suburbs, that has a small herd of giraffes that can be seen by visitors.
Giraffes are graceful, tall, long necked creatures found naturally in the wilds of Africa. The exotic animals are declining in numbers in their natural habitat due to a number of factors, including the changing environment, illegal hunting and human population growth encroaching on their natural habitat.
The Chicago Zoological Society announced that a baby giraffe, called a calf, was born on June 21, 2013. The male calf, the 59th giraffe born at Brookfield Zoo, was born to first time mom Jasirii, who was 7½ years old at the time. Giraffes have a 14½ month gestation and the mother giraffe gives birth while standing. Soon after being born, the 173-pound, 5-foot-9-inch-tall calf stood and was nursing not long after that. The giraffe could grow to be 18 feet tall.
This calf was the 59th giraffe born at Brookfield Zoo. The sire, Hasani, 4, arrived at Brookfield Zoo in 2010, and is on a breeding loan from Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City, Kansas. He is also the father of Dave, a calf born in November 2012.
In addition to Dave and Hasani, other members of Brookfield Zoo’s giraffe herd that can be seen on exhibit with Jasiri and her calf are Mithra, 22; Franny, 21; and Arnieta.
The outdoor temperature at the zoo needs to be at least 45-50°F for the giraffes to have access outside, so during the winter months, visitors can see them indoors. In the springtime the giraffe herd is given access to their outdoor environment at the Habitat Africa! The Savannah exhibit, where the giraffes happily run around stretching their long legs and necks.
Brookfield Zoo is open every day of the year. the zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service.