A baby giraffe was born at Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 6. The newborn calf was weighed at 136 pounds and measured at more than six feet tall at birth.
Uzuri, a female giraffe at the zoo, gave birth to the baby calf, named Lizzie in memory of one of the zoo’s biggest supporters, at 10:40 a.m., and mother and baby are both doing well, according to a statement released by the zoo. The calf is being described as “very energetic.”
According to zoo officials, the pregnancy was considered high risk because of the mother’s age, 19, and the fact that she hadn’t gotten pregnant for over 10 years. Uzuri gave birth on her own and has taken care of the calf without human help as well, zoo officials reported.
“We are delighted that everything has gone well with this pregnancy and birth given Uzuri’s age,” said Blank Park Zoo CEO Mark Vukovich. “The calf will be an ambassador for giraffe in the wild that are suffering from a dramatic decline in population due to poaching and habitat loss.”
The Giraffe Conservation Foundation reports that fewer than 100,000 giraffes live in the wild, and they have been placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List as a vulnerable species.
Blank Park Zoo is in the process of building a new giraffe barn that will be used for winter giraffe viewing since giraffe don’t like the cold, according to The Des Moines Register.
The calf’s father, Jakobi, came to the zoo in 2006 and has fathered two other calves at the zoo: Mikuu in 2008 and Sabra in 2010. Eleven calves in all have been born at the zoo since 1985 when the giraffe exhibit opened, The Des Moines Register reported.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.