Birth of a Giraffe
The birth of a giraffe is very different from most other animal births. After a 14 month pregnancy the mother giraffe will remain standing even though she knows that birth is beginning to happen. The process usually takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours. We would think that the mother would lie down, but she doesn’t. When the baby calf emerges it will drop 6 or more feet, landing on its two front feet and the head. What a mean way to enter life in this world! After rolling onto its back it will stay there for a few minutes while the mother begins the clean-up process. She will also stand over it and check the area for predators.
This is when disturbing actions by the mother will begin to take place if the calf does not get up right way. She will nudge it and then give it a solid kick if it does not get up. The calf will try, very awkwardly, and often seems to give up. Then the mother will give it another kick. This action is repeated until the calf is standing. At this point the mother may knock it down again, and again, until the calf has learned to get up and stay up. The reason is clear.
The most vulnerable time for mother and calf is during, and right after, birthing. The calf must learn to run, not just stand or walk, if it is to stay alive. All this has to happen the first day. What an introduction to life and death for a newborn giraffe!
We were not dealt with that way as infants but life has its ways of knocking us about throughout our days and years. Mark them down as learning experiences. They are opportunities to develop survival skills.
Keep on trucking,