31st Giraffe born at Jacksonville Zoo

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31st Giraffe born at Jacksonville Zoo

Jan 17, 2012

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens announces the birth of a male reticulated giraffe on January 11 at 12:10 p.m. The calf weighs approximately 145 pounds, is six feet tall and doing well. Guests riding the Zoo Train may see the calf and its mother in the outdoor holding area, pending weather conditions or feeding or healthcare requirements. The naming rights for the calf will be auctioned off on April 28th at ExZOOberation, the Zoo’s largest evening adult fundraiser.

This is the second offspring for the mother, Naomi, a five-year-old, since she arrived at Jacksonville Zoo in October 2006. The calf’s father is Duke, the 14-year-old patriarch of the giraffe herd, who has now sired a total of seven offspring since he came to the Jacksonville Zoo in April of 2003. The Zoo now has nine giraffes in its collection. This is the 31st giraffe born at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

“The neonatal or ‘well baby’ exam has been completed, and the calf is off to a good start,” said Tony Vecchio, executive director of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. “The calf was standing on all fours within one hour of the birth and is now walking, sitting, standing and nursing properly. The keepers and animal healthcare staff will continue to monitor the newborn closely,” he concluded.

For nearly a century, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has been dedicated to inspiring the discovery and appreciation of wildlife through innovative experiences in a caring environment. Starting in 1914 with an animal collection that consisted of one red deer fawn, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens now has more than 1,500 rare and exotic animals and 2,000 plants. It has won national acclaim for its South American Range of the Jaguar exhibit and has the largest botanical garden in Northeast Florida. The Jacksonville Zoo is a non-profit organization and is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). It is open year-round, seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Christmas Day, and is located on Jacksonville’s north side at 370 Zoo Parkway, one-half mile east from I-95. For more information on the Zoo, log on to http://www.jacksonvillezoo.org.

Photos available upon request.

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