Announcing the arrival of James Marjani,* a male Baringo giraffe born at the Bronx Zoo on September 14th to proud parents Margaret Sukari and James Michael. Baby James is the first giraffe born at the Park since February 2009, and although he is little more than a month old, he already stands 6 feet tall and weighs more than a 100 pounds according to Zoo representatives, who added that by the time he is fully grown little James could end up standing more than 17 feet tall and top the scales close to 2 tons. He will also end up with an 18 inch long tongue to help him grab tree limbs and pull off their leaves. In the meantime he will continue to nurse for a year before being weaned to a diet of leaves, kale, alfalfa, grained pellets and produce.
James Marjani and his mother can be found bonding at the Carter Giraffe Building as well as socializing with the rest of the herd on the Zoo’s “African Plains” exhibit. The calf , however, will only be presented to the public intermittently during the next several weeks until he adjusts to his new homes. As a result, visitors will need to check with the zoo regarding actually viewing times.
Baringo giraffes (also called Rothschild giraffes) are native to eastern Uganda and western Kenya, and are recognizable from other giraffes by their coloring. For instance, while similar in looks to Masai giraffes, Baringos appear lighter and their “orange-brown spots are less jagged, and shape in shape, while the lines in between are more cream-colored than those on the Retriculated animals.” In addition Baringos are the only subspecies of giraffe to sport five “horns” on their heads. The two true horns are on the top of their heads, while two more can be seen behind their ears and the last in the center of the forehead.
Connecticut residents who would like to visit the giraffes as well as other exhibits at the Bronx Zoo can get there by taking I95 south the Pelham Pkwy west (or travel along the Merritt Pkwy south to the Hutchinson River Pkwy south to the Pelham Pkwy west) and continue for 2 miles. Then turn left on Boston Rd. just after passing beneath the subway, and make a right turn at the light. The Zoo’s Bronx River entrance(Gate B) is located directly ahead of the underpass.
The Bronx Zoo is open Mon.-Fri. 10 am-5pm, and from 10am-5:30pm on weekends and holidays. For more information call them at 718 220-5100.
*Editor’s note: The Bronx Zoo names all the giraffes at the Bronx Zoo are named in memory of Mr. and Mrs. James Carter, benefactors for whom the Carter Giraffe Building is named.