The very rare twin giraffes at Natural Bridge Wildlife Refuge in Comal County are celebrating their first birthdays in high style---giraffe style.
The refuge says Wasswa and Nakato chowed down on twin birthday cakes made of alfalfa, whipped cream, and carrots, 1200 WOAI's Berit Mason reports.
She says the twins have grown by about four feet and added 400 pounds since they were born on May 10 of 2013. They are the only twin baby reticulated giraffes currently living in the USA.
“The twins’ birth was extremely rare. We didn’t have science or history as a guide,” said Tiffany Soechting, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch marketing director and animal specialist caring for the newborn giraffes. “We have taken extremely cautious steps to ensure their health because they have so much to teach the zoological community. Every day we count our blessings that they are thriving.”
She says Wasswa and Nakato, the girl and the boy giraffe respectively, have a lot of growing yet to do. She says adult reticulated giraffes grow to 18 feet tall and can weigh 2600 pounds.
She says the giraffes have become huge attractions for the Refuge in the year since they were born.
"On Facebook, we'll post a picture of them now, and somebody will post, 'I was blessed to be there the day they were born, and it is so exciting to see how much they've grown."
Only nine sets of living reticulated giraffe twins have been born in any zoo anywhere in the world. There are an estimated 5,000 of the animals on earth.
There are eight giraffes residing at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, including the twins’ father Marshall. Marshall is 11-years-old.
The average giraffe gestation is 15 months. Giraffes give birth standing up. Calves fall 6 feet to the ground, and stand up and run within an hour of birth. Giraffe calves are reliant on their mother’s milk for up to 6-12 months, dependable on available forage. Giraffes are the tallest living land mammals with average height ranging from 16-19 feet.