TOPEKA — After being alive for a little less than a day, the Topeka Zoo’s newborn giraffe, Konza, ran around the stalls Thursday morning meeting his new roommate, Hope.
Konza, Abi’s calf, began nursing at 5 p.m. Wednesday and is male, zoo officials said Thursday.
Zoo director Brendan Wiley said that after birth, there are many milestones a calf must reach to ensure their livelihood. Nursing is one of the most significant, along with walking.
Abi, a first-time mother, has been doing well and is showing no signs of distance from her calf, zoo officials said.
On Thursday, zoo-trained personnel introduced Konza to Hope, an 8-year-old giraffe who celebrated her birthday Wednesday. Hope is also pregnant. She and Konza were introduced, with Abi present, just after 10 a.m. The giraffe enclosure opened to the public at 11:15 a.m.
Zoo staff described Konza as a “little pushy in Hope’s space” and “very independent” during their first interaction.
“Hope immediately walked over to the baby and greeted him nose to nose, a very gentle greeting, and then she immediately started eating after that. That is exactly what we wanted to see,” said Robyn Krause, large mammal keeper at the Topeka Zoo. “The baby is very curious. We haven’t see anything that we are worried about. Everything is going very well.”
People interested in following Konza’s progress and day-to-day activities may do so by watching the zoo’s livestream cameras on YouTube.