‘Up to our necks in zoo babies’: Giraffe calf is latest newborn at the Virginia Zoo

Living Local
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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Zoo welcomed new baby giraffe on Monday, May 20.

According to a press release, the Virginia Zoo welcomed the female Masai calf, which weighs 141 pounds and is almost six feet tall.

The unnamed calf is the sixth to be born for mom, Imara, and seventh for dad, Billy.

The giraffe joins a slew of new babies born recently at the zoo, including a zebra named Zelda, a Victoria crowned pigeon, two Emerald tree boas and a Meller’s chameleon

Masai giraffe are the largest subspecies of giraffe, which are native to Kenya and Tanzania. For the new female calf, she might grow up to 14 feet tall, while her male counterparts can reach 18 feet. She will be nursed for up to six to nine months and can start eating leaves when she reaches four months. 

“We’re so excited to see the birth of the world’s tallest land mammal here at the Zoo,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo. 

As if she wasn’t enough of an overachiever, the calf was apparently standing within two hours of birth. 

According to staff, the experienced mom, Imara, has been nursing the calf and has been observed taking great care of her as the two bond for a few weeks before being introduced to the exhibit. 

However, guests may now be able to catch a glimpse of  the two from a viewing window inside the giraffe barn.

The naming rights for the newborn calf will be auctioned at the Zoo’s Annual To Do on June 1. The starting bid is at $500 while tickets for the event are selling for $65 in advance.

The new calf needs a name within a week of the auction so zoo keepers and staff can begin training sessions with her.

You can enter your bid for the calf’s new name at https://one.bidpal.net/zootodo/browse/featured. Funds raised at the naming event will be used to maintain the Zoo’s wildlife conservation efforts.

Do you have a name in mind?

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