Subscribe

Safari West baby giraffe Grace hits the ground running

While most giraffe calving can take up to two hours, little Grace only took 35 minutes to be born Oct. 30. It was a “quick and smooth” process, according to staff at her birthplace, the Safari West conservation breeding facility north of Santa Rosa.|

Baby giraffe Grace just couldn’t wait to meet the world.

While most giraffe calving can take up to two hours, little Grace only took 35 minutes to be born Oct. 30. It was a “quick and smooth” process, according to staff at her birthplace, the Safari West conservation breeding facility north of Santa Rosa.

Grace measured 5 feet, 9 inches and weighed 127 pounds. She was born to mom Malaika, also born at Safari West, and dad Kubwa.

“We are really pleased with the new arrival,” Safari West founder Peter Lang said. “Birth is always a true-to-life miracle.”

Giraffes deliver their calves while standing up, so Grace started her life with a 6-foot drop, Safari West staff said.

The newborn reticulated giraffe, a species of giraffe native to the Horn of Africa, was named after Peter and Nancy Lang’s granddaughter, “symbolizing beauty and joy,” Safari West officials said.

Ellie Gressman, a Safari West caregiver, said Grace “looks strong, is curious and is doing great overall.”

She said Malaika’s experience and patience as a mother have made it easy for staff to provide necessary care.

Malaika’s pregnancy lasted almost 15 months. Once she gave birth, Grace stood on wobbly legs and was nursing within an hour. She’s described as “gangly and wide-eyed.”

Grace was given a clean bill of health by Dr. Emily Cehrs, medical director at Safari West, and joins three other siblings who are curious about their new baby sister.

Mom and baby remain in the nursery, a large pen next to the giraffe barn and adjacent to the gazelle pasture and savanna habitats, where caregivers can keep a close eye out.

Grace has already been running around, chasing cranes and guinea fowl, according to the wildlife preserve.

“Friday was the first day that a few of our other giraffes stayed in the nursery along with Malaika and Grace, including Jamala, the grand matriarch of our herd, who is always so gentle with new babies,” said Mark Pressler, a photographer-writer at Safari West.

“The introductions went great! The whole time I was watching, Grace was taking turns between zooming around the nursery and walking up to each giraffe, where they would lick each other's noses for a moment before her curiosity took her somewhere else.”

You can reach Staff Writer Kathleen Coates at kathleen.coates@pressdemocrat.com or 707-521-5209.

Kathleen Coates

Windsor and Cloverdale, The Press Democrat 

As someone who grew up in a small town, I enjoy covering what's happening in Windsor and Cloverdale, which are growing in their own unique ways.  I delve into issues by getting to know people and finding out what’s going on in the community. I also pay attention to animal welfare and other issues that affect Sonoma County.

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette