Blank Park Zoo Announces Birth of Giraffe Calf

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DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO-TV) – The Blank Park Zoo is celebrating the birth of a big baby! The zoo has added a giraffe calf to its menagerie.

The male giraffe was born on January 18 and zoo officials say he is doing well.

“The calf appears to be healthy and quickly passed all the major milestones for a giraffe calf which include learning to stand and walk within an hour of birth and nursing from mom regularly,” said Anne Shimerdla, president and CEO of Blank Park Zoo.

Veterinary staff and keepers were able to examine the calf about 36 hours after he was born. He weighed in at 125 pounds and was six feet tall.

The calf was born to Skye, a six-year-old, who has been at the Blank Park Zoo since 2015. This is her first calf. The father is 15-year-old Jakobi, who has sired several other calves.

“We are so excited to welcome this healthy boy to our herd,” said Kayla Freeman, supervisor of large mammals. “It has been refreshing to watch Skye become such a great mom and Zola our other female giraffe is also doting and investing so much interest in him. We can’t wait our community to meet him.”

The zoo plans to release several possible names for the calf starting January 28 and will ask the public to vote for their favorites.

The indoor viewing area for the giraffes is closed to the public currently so mother and baby can bond. The zoo plans to have a “first look” event for the public in a few weeks.

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