ASHEBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A bundle of joy arrived at the North Carolina Zoo last week!
The zoo announced on Wednesday that they got a “soaring” addition to their animal family: a giraffe calf.
The baby boy was born after a long 14 to 15-month pregnancy, to mom Leia, and is the thirteenth giraffe born at the zoo! The sweet boy was born on May 20 (so he’s a Taurus!) and measured six feet tall and 145 pounds at birth! This puts him right in the normal range for a giraffe calf.
Teams at the zoo will figure out when Leia and the calf will join the rest of the tower — which is the word for a group of giraffes — in their habitat.
“Leia and her calf are doing amazingly well. Our team could not be prouder of how attentive Leia has been with her firstborn. Mom and calf are bonding behind the scenes,” Giraffe Zookeepers Kristi Myers, Jason Balder, Mary Wilson, and Kelly Davis said. “This new arrival brings the team lots of happiness and excitement to have some young, spunky energy around. The rest of the giraffe tower – Jack, Turbo and Amelia – are all very curious of the newbie and are bopping noses whenever they can.”
“The giraffes at the North Carolina Zoo serve as ambassadors for their wild cousins, giving our guests the opportunity to learn about these majestic creatures and the conservation challenges they face. The Zoo’s direct engagement with conservation in Africa means that every Zoo visitor is helping to ensure the future of this and other species,” North Carolina Zoo Director and CEO, Pat Simmons, said.
Mom Leia came from Zoo Miami in 2014. Dad Jack was born in 2008 at Dickerson Park Zoo and came to North Carolina Zoo the following year.
Giraffes are the tallest living land animals, with male giraffes getting up to 18 feet tall and females 14. Giraffe coat patterns are like human fingerprints — always completely unique. They’re a vulnerable species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Threats to giraffes include habitat loss, disease and poaching.
“The North Carolina Zoo is actively involved in giraffe conservation and research in Tanzania. You can read more about our staff working to save giraffes in the wild here on the Zoo’s Blog,” the zoo writes in their release.
The calf makes five members of the North Carolina Zoo’s tower.
Stay turned to the Zoo’s social media channels for photos, updates, and information about how the calf will be named.