Boise & Garden City

No pregnant giraffes at Zoo Boise — but have you met Julius Longfellow?

Zoo Boise giraffes Julius Longfellow & Jabari

Zoo Boise Assistant Director Liz Littman talked to the Statesman about Boise's giraffes earlier in 2017. One of the zoo's giraffes, Julius, died April 13 at the age of 11.
Up Next
Zoo Boise Assistant Director Liz Littman talked to the Statesman about Boise's giraffes earlier in 2017. One of the zoo's giraffes, Julius, died April 13 at the age of 11.

The most famous giraffe in the world right now is a pregnant female named April who lives at Animal Adventure Park in upstate New York.

For the past week, people all over the world have been watching and waiting for the giraffe to give birth, via livestream from a “giraffe cam” set up in April’s pen.

Animal lovers are getting a little antsy, with some checking in frequently so they don’t miss seeing the big moment — when the 6-foot, 150-pound calf emerges.

The zoo is providing updates on its Facebook page, including one Saturday in which it said she was “very active” and has a “large appetite.”

Meanwhile in Denver, a giraffe gave birth last week after a “surprise pregnancy,” according to The Denver Post. Wait, how could it be a surprise?

“Mother Kipele was using birth control at the time of her impregnation, and resisted initial attempts for veterinarians to perform ultrasounds,” the newspaper reported.

It turns out that watching a pregnant giraffe eat, pace and poop can get a little monotonous — but imagine how April feels after carrying that calf for more than a year. This is baby No. 4 for her, zoo officials say.

Feed Boise giraffes

Zoo Boise has had giraffes since 2008, according to Assistant Director Liz Littman, and they are among the most popular animals at the zoo.

The public may feed the zoo’s two giraffes every day from 1:30-2:30 p.m. The cost is $3, and the money goes to the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund.

Visitors feed the giraffes romaine lettuce, a special treat. Their regular diet is mostly alfalfa.

Don’t expect to see baby giraffes at Zoo Boise anytime soon, though. The giraffes here are both boys — Julius Longfellow and Jabari.

Julius is about 11 years old and 15 feet tall, while Jabari is 7 and a bit shorter, Littman said. Male giraffes weight about 4,000 pounds.

Giraffes can live 15 to 20 years in the wild and longer in captivity, Littman said.

But longtime Zoo Boise visitors may recall that two of the first giraffes at the zoo died unexpectedly in the early years — Shingo, a 2-year-old male, died in 2008 of peracute mortality syndrome, and Joseph, a 4-year-old male, died in 2010. The cause of his death was never determined, Littman said.

Giraffes are herd animals, so zoos typically have two or more. Zoo Boise has never had any females; if they got one, they’d have to relocate one of the males to another zoo, Littman said.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller

  Comments