Welcome Baby Giraffe Kendi!

Oakland Zoo
October 19, 2023

Kendi Blog

All about our brand new baby giraffe, Kendi!

Watch Kendi LIVE on our new GiraffeCam -- click here to watch 🦒


Oakland Zoo is celebrating the newest addition to the giraffe herd, a baby female giraffe named Kendi! After a very long pregnancy (giraffes have a gestation period of 14-16 months), Kijiji (mother) gave birth to her first calf, Kendi on October 19, 2023, on the African Savanna habitat. Kendi is approximately 150 lbs. and is 6.5 feet tall. Kendi means ‘loved one' in Swahili, paying homage to the language spoken in Kenya, where you can find reticulated giraffes in the wild.

Kijiji has already exhibited her loving and protective nature by guiding Kendi into the giraffe barn. A separate area has been set up by Keepers in the barn for the calf and mother giraffe to bond peacefully. Kendi is already standing and walking around the giraffe barn and has successfully nursed from its mother. Kendi is expected to remain behind the scenes with the mom for approximately two weeks for the mother and baby to develop their relationship.

Read more about Kendi's birth in our press release!


Video of Kendi's first few days!


Nom nom practice — Kendi can’t actually eat this fresh mulberry yet, but baby giraffes love to mouth the leaves and immerse their faces in the trees.


In case you were wondering if a baby giraffe was cute...

Photo: Keeper Taylor


Pssst....baby Kendi giraffe MAY be making her debut appearance on habitat on Monday! IF Kendi and Mama Kijiji are comfortable and ready, that is.

This 9-day old giraffe is doing great!

Photo: Keeper Aeriell


Spotted on the African Savanna today — baby giraffe Kendi! This 11-day-old cutie explored the giraffe habitat for the first time this morning, under the watchful eye of Mama Kijiji. She had a ball discovering all kinds of new sights and sounds. Maggie joined the duo for a while too! As long as she’s comfortable with it, Kendi will have the option to explore her habitat every day now. We can’t guarantee she’ll be out (she may seek comfort in the giraffe night house) but you’ll have a good chance of seeing her in person now when you come visit!


This week Kijiji has started to introduce Kendi to some of their giraffe herd mates. Kendi met her sister Maggie at the beginning of the week, and has now started getting to know Zawadi and Tsavo. Everyone has been smitten with this new tiny giraffe, but Zawadi is her biggest fan. He has really enjoyed smelling and licking his new pal, and showing her around the Savanna. Kendi has also explored grass, tasted new kinds of leaves, and had a great time chasing some birds and practicing her running skills!

Photo: Keeper Amy


Kendi hangin' with the bigs.

Photo: Steve Goodall


More nom nom practice for little Kendi, who is learning to grab individual leaves with her prehensile tongue.


We’ve all got to start somewhere! Kendi’s learning how to position her long legs to get a drink of water at ground level. While she wasn’t successful this time, she’s a quick learner 🦒


Kendi is learning how to balance while she scratches itches in those hard to reach places 🦒

Photo: Keeper Amy


Kendi has been taking interest in the local wildlife, trying unsuccessfully to blend in with a flock of pigeons.

Video Screenshot: Keeper Amanda