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Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium welcomed a female Reticulated Giraffe calf on November 4th. She weighed 138 pounds and was 72 inches tall, at birth.



OmahaHenryDoorlyZoo_GiraffeCalf_4Photo Credits: Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

The 15-year-old mother, ‘Dottie’, is taking her motherly duties seriously, and she is very protective of the new calf. The father of the calf is 6-year-old ‘Jawara’, who came to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in August of 2008, from the Brookfield Zoo, in Brookfield, Illinois.

The calf currently weighs 171 pounds and will gain about 3.5 to 4 pounds per day, growing at an enormous rate her first year of life. She will nurse for about four months, and then will begin consuming solid food.

Dottie and her calf can be seen in the indoor exhibit of the Giraffe Complex. They are currently secluded from the rest of the herd, and will be introduced to the others one-by-one. The calf will most likely remain in the zoo’s herd, and will not be transferred to another facility.The zoo recently sponsored a naming contest for the calf, and they will announce the winner on December 10th.

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The gestation time for a giraffe is 15 months, and they give birth while standing. The calf is born feet first. Giraffes are listed as “Least Concern” on the International Union of Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. There are currently 256 Reticulated Giraffe at 76 Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited institutions. There have been 21 births in the last 12 months at AZA accredited zoos, including this recent birth.