Greenville Zoo Announces Giraffe Pregnancy

Autumn the giraffe at Greenville Zoo.
Greenville Zoo

The Greenville Zoo has announced that Autumn, the zoo’s 14-year-old female Masai giraffe, is pregnant.

The staff confirmed the pregnancy through hormone analysis after reviewing the zookeepers’ daily logs and are expecting the birth to occur in late November/early December. This will be the third calf for Autumn and Miles, the zoo’s male Masai giraffe, who will be 12 in January. Kiden, the pair’s first calf, was born in January 2018 and was transferred to the Oregon Zoo in Portland, OR this past April to be paired with a young male giraffe. Kellan, their second calf, was born in June 2019 and currently resides at the Greenville Zoo. Kellan is expected to receive a placement recommendation to another zoo in 2021.

Autumn was born at Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, MA on January 7, 2006. She was originally transferred to the Greenville Zoo in 2007 to be paired with Walter, the zoo’s former male Masai giraffe, as part of a breeding loan. Their first calf, Kiko, was born in October 2012 and was transferred to the Toronto Zoo in Ontario, Canada in 2015. Autumn’s second pregnancy ended with a stillborn calf following a breech birth in August 2014. Named Roho, the calf is remembered with a tree located near the entrance to the African Overlook. Their third calf, Tatu, was born in February 2016 and was transferred to the Lehigh Valley Zoo in Schnecksville, PA in 2017.

Miles was born at the Houston Zoo on January 30, 2009 and was transferred to the Greenville Zoo in September 2016 when he was recommended to breed with Autumn. Like a majority of the animals at the Greenville Zoo, Autumn and Miles are part of a cooperative breeding program known as an SSP or Species Survival Plan. The purpose of a cooperative breeding program is to monitor captive populations and make breeding recommendations based on genetic variability and spaces available at other accredited institutions to ensure a long term viable population without removing animals from the wild. In addition to participating in the SSP, the Greenville Zoo also contributes to giraffe related conservation efforts through its conservation fund.

The zoo staff will continue to closely monitor Autumn’s condition and will keep fans updated on her progress through the zoo’s Facebook page. The public will also be able to monitor Autumn’s pregnancy and view the birth on the zoo’s popular webcam at https://greenvillezoofoundation.org/camera/.

For more information, contact James Traverse, the zoo’s general curator, at 467-4720 or [email protected].

Prepared by the City of Greenville.