THIS JUST IN: Baby Giraffe

The Memphis Zoo got a tall order last Thursday: A baby giraffe named Akili (“bright and intelligent” in Swahili), born right on exhibit.  She’ll stay indoors during the cold weather, but zoo officials hope to have her on view soon.  Full story at the Commercial Appeal.  See photos of the birth at Facebook.



  1. kibblenibble says:

    Sweetest mama-baby giraffe pic evar! Pretty little babe!

  2. Is it just me or do giraffes look like they’re smiling. All the time.

    Like I am right now…

  3. certified cutologist says:

    is there a term form “momma careage”? the act of a momma animal caring for her bebe animal? i love seeing great momma careage… especially of the larger animals… giraffe’s, whales, elephants…. anyway, this is some great momma careage.

  4. Queen of Dork says:

    How Beautiful! You can just feel the love by looking at this photo. Beautiful baby, wonderful momma!

  5. Awww,
    when I saw the title I was hoping for some babeh knobby knees!

  6. OK every body together Awwwww!

  7. Not That Mike The Other Mike says:

    @Melvin and Zoey: If it’s knobbliness you’re after, definitely take a look at the zoo’s Facebook gallery, taken moments after birth.

  8. They do look like they’re smiling! Wow.

  9. Queen of Dork says:

    *joins Gigi* Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

  10. I’m with you, Certified Cutologist.

  11. Lovely

  12. spaceymcnutty says:

    I wonder why they are separated?

  13. fanning flashes says:

    A 10 on the awwww cute meter!

  14. I love how mommy giraffes kiss their babies’ heads. That’s just too precious for words.

  15. Looking on Facebook it looks like a yucky, hard, cold place to be born.

  16. Aww..giraffe snuggles….

  17. Love the birth height and weight: 6’3″, 150 lbs. lolol

  18. Spaceymcnutty: I would bet they’re separated so that the zoo staff can do an exam or some other veterinary procedure on the babe, with the mom near enough that the little one won’t be scared, but too far away for the mom to kick the vet if *she* gets scared. (Did you know that a giraffe can kill a lion with a single kick? They can!)

  19. The babee giraffe’s mouff looks like a hamburger bun. nom nom.

  20. I love these Camel Leopards, there’s a wonderful ‘Bambi ‘ moment in the facebook set, with muchly leg splayage. “They are such stuff as cute is made of”

  21. I want to giiiiive her a BIIIIIG HUG around her NEEEEECK. I can already tell that she IS Bright AND Intelligent!

  22. Welcome to the world, little giraffe!

  23. Katrina wants a giraffe. This will do- a twofer! Such a sweet picture!

  24. This picture makes me miss my mom, snif.


  26. A few tidbits of info from a Memphian:
    @Spacymcnutty and Alex: though I don’t know all the details, the baby was briefly separated from her mother so that zookeepers could take her inside to warm up (she was born outside just hours before an ice storm rolled into the Memphis area) and, I assume, for vets to check her over. The local paper reports that mother and daughter are bonding just fine and that the baby is nursing. Plus, institutional memory runs deep. In 1976, a Memphis zookeeper was kicked in the head by a mother giraffe. The zookeeper was trying to help a baby giraffe whose head had somehow gotten stuck in a fence around the edges of the enclosure, and mama giraffe thought she was hurting her baby. The zookeeper was in a coma for 20 years before she died. Just awful. Last summer, one of the elephants at the zoo accidentally killed her own newborn (barely a day old) as she was trying to lift it with her trunk (I can barely type this without sobbing!); she gored it with one of her tusks. I trust that these zookeepers were doing what they needed to do to protect themselves and to make sure that the baby giraffe was off to a good start.

    @LyndaB: The giraffe enclosure is not the most attractive (or, for that matter, the most pleasantly smelling) place in the zoo, but the pics are a bit misleading. There’s nothing growing within the enclosure itself, but in the spring and summer the slopes around the exhibit are covered by all kinds of nice green natural stuff, and there seems to be plenty of room for the giraffes to roam around, relatively speaking. The pics make it look like a tiny concrete bunker!

    Finally, I am glad that the human birthing process doesn’t involve a 10-12 foot drop the the ground! Ow.

  27. I love that name! Is it weird that I would want to name a child after a giraffe? It’s very pretty…

  28. Beautiful photo of a mama and baby! Don’t tell me animals don’t feel love!

  29. You know CuteOverload (or CuteOverlord) – you make my day every day. That’s all I have to say. Thank you so much for all the wonderful doses of cuteness that rule my mornings… and evenings.

    [ 🙂 YAY 🙂 – Ed.]

  30. Omg! I live in Memphis!!! Can’t wait to see her soon!!!! 😀 Beautiful, just beautiful!!

  31. Little baby’s head is only about half the length of mom’s head. Dawwwwww….

  32. Must. Go. To. Memphis.

  33. Momma and Akili are really cute, but IMHO their environment is kinda depressing :^(. It’d be nice if they could have a warm greenhouse with some trees and such in it for them to stay in for the winter. (I’m sure the zoo’s board would tell me “great idea, JME. You just give us the money, and we’ll implement that right away!”)

  34. how cute!!! i love it!!!

  35. @Amy yes, I think naming a child after an adorable giraffe would be fab-u-lous.
    After all she is, “bright and intelligent!”
    I’m also all for naming a child Stella Luna. Yea, i’m Pro that. Now to convince my husband that just bc Stella Luna was a bat who lived with birds doesn’t mean she wouldn’t make a great child’s name!

  36. I live in Memphis too! I couldn’t believe it. We made CO!!
    Sweet baby geefe.

  37. hallo baby – isn’t she absolute the most beautiful thing ever! apart form my baby of course 🙂

  38. Dear Jenny Shain- yes, it is a lovely name, but kids are cruel little beasts and her name will get made into a joke for a while, until the little punks (of both genders) get over it. I have an acquaintance whose mother named her Saran…..Just sayin’…..and my name has been spelled any number of ways, so… ya know?