On January 7, the Peoria Zoo welcomed their newest Giraffe calf. Mom, Vivian, gave birth to a 5 foot 10 inch, 122 pound baby girl!
The Zoo endeavored to carefully document this latest Giraffe birth. Their goal was to not only celebrate the incredible birth, but to continue to improve husbandry techniques and share their birthing experience with other zoos around the world.
A camera was installed in Vivian's maternity holding stall to monitor and record the birth. Staff had been monitoring the camera, 24/7, for months in preparation of the birth. When the big moment finally came, the entire process was captured on video.
Because Giraffes are threatened in their native habitat, every birth is important. The process gives zoologists, conservationists, and researchers the opportunity to study the species and their offspring, as well as educate and inspire zoo visitors.
In conjunction with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan (SSP), Peoria Zoo participates in cooperative breeding programs dedicated to building healthy, thriving Giraffe populations, with an emphasis on maintaining genetic diversity. Information gained through SSP husbandry and reproduction programs is used to promote meaningful initiatives meant to foster growth in wild giraffe populations.
On Friday, January 26, Peoria Zoo posted six potential names for the new female calf. For a $1 donation, votes can be placed on the Peoria Zoo website: www.peoriazoo.org/vote-here-giraffe-calf/ . Proceeds will go directly toward supporting the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, and the care and enrichment of the baby, mother Vivian, dad Taji, and brother, Finely.
Voting will remain open through February 26, and the winning name will be announced on March 1 at a press conference.
The six name choices are:
*Farah (Arabic for Joy)
*Fern (Symbolizes sincerity towards others)
*Layla (Arabic for born at night)
*Sophie (Suggested after the popular giraffe teether for human babies)
*Twiggy (Swahili for giraffe is Twiga)
*Zara (Arabic for giraffe is Zarafe and Zara is Arabic for princess)
Each $1 donation is considered one entry in the "giraffe calf meet and greet" giveaway.
The winner and up to 5 additional guests, accompanied by a zoo staff member, will receive a private meet and greet with mom, Vivian, and the calf. The winner will be announced March 1st, 2018.
(All participants must be at least 5 years of age and two members of the party must be over the age of 18. Time and date of the "giraffe calf meet and greet" will be scheduled with zoo staff and will take place in the first week of March. The winner will be announced at the press conference where the winning giraffe calf name will be released to the public. The more you vote, the more times you're entered into the drawing!)
Fans of the beautiful new calf can also purchase gifts through the Zoo’s registry. New mom, Vivian, and the rest of her Zoo family are “registered” at www.peoriazoo.org/donate/giving-tree/