NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - The Virginia Zoo has a new addition to the family – a giraffe calf.
Parents Imara and Billy welcomed their new baby Thursday, Kiara Warren with the Virginia Zoo said. This is Imara's third calf.
"We came in yesterday morning around eight and he was already here. He was already up walking around, already nursing," said Dennis McNamara with the Virginia Zoo. "From the previous calves we've had, it takes about two or three hours for them to actually get up and start moving around. So just the fact that he was already clean, we would guess about 3 to 5 hours old by the time we got here."
The calf does not yet have a name, but Warren said the Zoo's executive director likes the idea of naming him Paul after Mayor Paul Fraim.
Masai giraffe are the largest subspecies of giraffe and the tallest mammal on Earth. Males reach up to 18' while females grow to 14'.
Calves are born feet first, followed by the head, neck and shoulders. They are able to stand and walk within one hour of birth.
"We are ecstatic about this new baby," said Greg Bockheim, the Zoo's executive director. "Zookeepers knew she was pregnant but pinning down an exact date is very difficult because pregnant giraffe are masters at hiding their pregnancy because in the wild they need to protect themselves from what becomes a compromising condition at delivery."
The Zoo's newest addition appears to be very healthy.
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