While giraffes may be very different types of mammals to humans, they share the same maternal instincts to protect and care for their babies. And when female giraffe Marilyn gave birth to a non-moving calf, onlookers watched with bated breath as the new mother tried to stir life into her child.
Marilyn herself lives at Memphis Zoo in Tennessee, and she and others of her species can be seen in the attraction’s “African Veldt” section. As the name suggests, this area of the zoo includes animals typically found on the open plains of the continent, such as zebras, rhinos, African elephants and ostriches. Reticulated giraffes like Marilyn, meanwhile, can be found in the wild in northeast Kenya, Somalia and the south of Ethiopia.
In addition to their lengthy necks and similarly elongated legs, reticulated giraffes are distinguished by their polygon-shaped patches of sandy-colored fur. Females of the subspecies may weigh as much as 2,600 pounds; males, on the other hand, may be almost double that. And, of course, these animals are tall – some male reticulated giraffes may even reach to 18 feet.