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Newest addition to the Baton Rouge Zoo being closely monitored

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 1:00pm

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo has a new addition to the family! A female baby giraffe was born early Monday morning, September 10. However, the new baby is being closely monitored.

The baby was briefly on exhibit, but is currently off exhibit, as she was not standing to feed as much as Zoo veterinary staff would like. The baby will remain off exhibit as we monitor its health and development.

“Our veterinary and keeper staff is an incredibly experienced group that take the best care of each animal,” said Zoo Director Phil Frost. “The baby giraffe is under expert care and supervision.”

This giraffe is the 19th born at the Baton Rouge Zoo. The mother, Jewel, was born at St. Paul’s Como Zoo in January 2006. The father, Rowan, was born at Birmingham Zoo in August 2006. Both giraffes came to Baton Rouge in 2007.

“Each and every birth is a significant one at the Zoo,” said Frost. “We will watch mom and baby giraffe closely to make sure both are comfortable. We are thrilled to share this exciting news with our community, family and friends. The Baton Rouge Zoo is extremely proud to contribute to the overall conservation of wild animals.”

The giraffe is the tallest animal in the world. Males can grow to 19 feet tall and weigh between 2,400 and 4,250 pounds while females measure up to 17 feet tall and weigh between 1,540 and 2,600 pounds. Giraffes are known for their long necks, which can be 8 feet in length and can weigh almost 500 pounds. Even though the giraffe’s neck is much longer than a human’s, it is still made of only seven bones – the same number of bones in the human neck.

Giraffes breed throughout the year, and their gestation is about 14 to 15 months. The baby, called a calf, is usually born six foot tall. During the first week, the newborn stays hidden, remaining on the ground most of the time, with mother close by. Nursing occurs at night.

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