On May 10, 2013, Central Texas welcomed a most adorable set of twins to the world: Wasswa and Nakato, who measured in at 4.5 feet and 5.5 feet tall, respectively. Wasswa and Nakato are twin reticulated giraffes born at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch in New Braunfels, Texas.
As the only living set of giraffe twins in the United States (and only the second documented case in the country), these baby Texans received plenty of attention.
Wasswa and Nakato recently celebrated their first birthday, and Natural Bridge announced that the twins are not only thriving, but they’re also growing fast. Since last May, the first-born female calf, Wasswa, has grown another 4.5 feet and gained 465 pounds.
Her brother, Nakato, has grown 4 feet and added 400 pounds. And they have plenty more growing to do: The average reticulate giraffe can grow up to 18 feet and weigh between 1,800 and 2,600 pounds.
After the birth of this special duo, the staff behind Natural Bridge had to grow too. “The twins’ birth was extremely rare. We didn’t have science or history as a guide,” says Tiffany Soechting, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch marketing director and animal specialist caring for the newborn giraffes.
The twins have also developed their own lovable personalities over the last year. Nakato, known as Buddy on the ranch, is described as more personable and assertive, while his sister can be a bit shy. They enjoy playing with each other, thus doubling the fun at one of the top tourist destinations in Central Texas.
An obvious highlight at the 450-acre animal preserve, the twins are just two of many exotic animals on the ranch. If you can’t make a trip soon, catch up with the twins by watching this video celebrating their first birthday.