Msitu, a 10-year-old reticulated giraffe, gave birth to her third baby on the afternoon of July 6 at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the zoo announced.
The video shows the calf emerging from its mother, then dropping approximately six feet onto the six inches of sand that covers the bottom of the zoo’s giraffe birthing stall, according to the zoo. The fall naturally severs the umbilical cord and stimulates independent breathing.
About 10,000 people were said to have watched the event live on the zoo’s Live Birth Cam. The female calf took her first steps 35 minutes after being born.
“Our first indication that labor was starting was the calf’s two front hooves emerging from mom,” the zoo said on its Facebook page.
The animal’s gestation period was just over 15 months, according to zoo records. The zoo said the newborn appeared to be six feet tall and weighed about 150 pounds.
The zoo said it would name the calf when it is 30 days old.
There are approximately 8,500 reticulated giraffes living in the wild, according to media reports. They are native to Somalia, southern Ethiopia, and northern Kenya.
With this latest addition, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo now has a herd of 16 reticulated giraffes, the largest herd in North America. Credit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo via Storyful