There’s another birth being celebrated at the Safari at Six Flags Great Adventure. On the heels of new tiger cubs comes word that a baby giraffe has joined the menagerie.

The new addition, a female named Sierra, was born on June 2nd and already weighs over 200 pounds. Eventually she will grow to over 1500 pounds! She is the fourth giraffe calf born at the park recently, following the births of Phyllis, Embu, and Soda. Sierra’s mother is Muraya.

The calves are all reticulated giraffe, also called Somali giraffe, which are native to northeastern Kenya, southern Ethiopia, and Somali. In a press release, Safari Veterinarian Dr. Ken Keiffer says “reticulated giraffes have distinctive coat patterns featuring red-brown patches divided by thin white lines. Their spots are unique like a fingerprint, which is how we can tell them apart.”

The press release also shared some facts about reticulated giraffes:
A group of giraffes is called a “tower”;
Giraffes can stand and walk within an hour of their birth—they even sleep and give birth standing;
Giraffes have seven vertebrae in their extremely long necks, which is the same amount of vertebrae humans have in their necks; and
Their tongues can be 18 inches long to help reach tree leaves.
In the wild, giraffes are currently undergoing what is referred to as a “silent extinction event.” Their numbers have decreased by nearly 40 percent in the past 30 years, placing them in the “Vulnerable to Extinction” category as determined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Six Flags Wild Safari is home to 12 giraffes.

Adult giraffes are:
Taller than traditional double-decker busses;
Two times taller than ostriches;
Two times taller than the world’s tallest man, Robert Wadlow;
Two and a half times taller than the average Christmas tree;
Two and a half times taller than superstar basketball player Shaquille O’Neal;
Taller than three stacked refrigerators

If you want to see Sierra, and the other 11 giraffes, tickets for the Great Adventure Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure are available to reserve here.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.