While the world waited for April the giraffe to give birth to her highly anticipated baby in New York, Akili, a giraffe at the Memphis Zoo decided to surprise visitors in real time with an unannounced arrival. (You must check out the video below.)
Zoo visitor Stacey Henderson Helms was in the right place at the right time with her smartphone camera to capture the whole birth live and post it to her Facebook page. Dozens of people were alongside her at the giraffe exhibit to witness the new baby giraffe's entrance into the world.
“I always am overwhelmed with God's design so that was my first thought,” Helms told Fox13 News. “So amazing to be there and see that.”
Despite this incredible moment, Helms acknowledged that "[The birth was] kind of gross, a little bit, but nobody looked at it that way [...] They were like, this is wonderful, beautiful, awesome.”
Reticulated giraffes give birth while standing up, and the 100-pound babies are pushed out of the mother on their heads, which may look painful but encourages the baby to take its first breath. “It didn’t move at first, but she started licking him, and you know nuzzling him, and pretty soon he was up,” said Helms. "He was so cute with his little ears, so yeah, I was so glad we got to see it."
The Memphis Zoo named the baby boy "Bogey" in honor of longtime zookeeper Steve Bogardy who recently passed away. Unfortunately, Akili did not take to motherhood which is typical of first-time giraffe moms. So the Memphis Zoo staff has hand-reared little Bogey in the meantime.
Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs, stated, “Our staff is hard at work, hand-raising our new little guy. Our team has worked tirelessly around the clock to give him the best care available, and he’s already made great strides."
Bogey is out on exhibit now and can be found happily hanging out with his other giraffe relatives, using them for shade. Check out the video below for some amazing pictures of Bogey's birth, and share his amazing entrance with your family and friends on Facebook!