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Tall, dark and handsome: Baby Giraffe born at Great Plains Zoo

Great Plains Zoo Giraffe Calf 1

The Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History welcomed a new Giraffe to its herd on Sunday, September 2.  The Zoo’s 13-year-old Reticulated Giraffe “Libby” gave birth to her fourth calf, a male weighing 147 pounds and standing about six feet tall.  The Zoo’s animal care staff monitored the birth from the lobby of the Giraffe Barn. 

Great Plains Zoo Giraffe Calf 3

Great Plains Zoo Giraffe Calf 4

After a 15-month gestation, Giraffes give birth standing up, and the calves drop more than five feet to the ground.  The fall doesn’t hurt the calf; it just causes it to take a breath.  After about an hour, the calf can stand, walk, and begin to nurse - a trait essential for survival on the African savannah.    

“The birth of a Giraffe calf is latest in a long list of significant births we’ve had in the past year,” said Elizabeth A. Whealy, President and CEO of the Great Plains Zoo.  “This is an exciting time for the Zoo, as we work to help create healthy populations of these precious animals.” 

Photo Credits:  Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum