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LIVE: Baby Giraffe Watch At Greenville Zoo

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All eyes are on Autumn, the 7-year-old Masai giraffe at the Greenville Zoo.  She's expected to give birth to her second calf any day.

The clock is ticking, the webcam is rolling and the eyes of the Upstate are waiting for the newest member of this long-necked family to arrive; nobody more than the folks at the Greenville Zoo.

 "We are still watching like everybody else is, but we've got staff keeping a close eye on her, just to make sure signs don't go unmissed," said Jeff Bullock, Greenville Zoo Director.

It is a thrilling, albeit familiar, moment for zoo director, Jeff Bullock. Just two years ago, brother Kiko made his grand entrance with parents Autumn and Walter by his side.

"A lot of people really got excited when Kiko first came along. This is a lot like Kiko, too. There's more people involved, I think," said Bullock.

That is thanks in part to earth cam; a minute by minute view online lovingly coined "Giraffe Watch" by viewers across the social media spectrum.

If you think this giraffe must be born for the world to witness its personality, well, think again.

"If I make my debut before 5pm, the first round at every bar on Main Street is on Kiko," reads David Haskins, mastermind behind parody twitter account, “Greenville Baby Giraffe 2.”

"On a rainy day, what better thing to do than to hunker over the computer and pretend that you're a giraffe,” he joked.

He and friends tweet from the perspective of the yet-to-arrive star; one who is all too happy to steal the lime light from his big brother.

"The sibling rivalry thing has been pretty funny to play up," he said.

So have the puns.

"Best giraffe pun...I don't think you would get it. It's kinda over your head," he joked.

It's a little cheeky and, at times, irreverent, but a little laughter breaks up the wait, according to Haskins. Waiting is something he's also familiar with.

"We just had a baby a few weeks ago, so we've kinda been through this, but we did not live tweet our baby,” he said.

It's a different story for this baby, whose birth will be tweeted, blogged and broadcast.

The zoo is letting you help pick out a name for the baby. Any person who makes at least a $10 dollar donation to “Friends of the Greenville Zoo” can submit a male and female name. A portion of those donations could go to building a new shade structure for the giraffes.

You probably remember when Autumn and Walter, 8, gave birth to Kiko in the fall of 2012. Nearly 1 million people tuned in to watch the livestream of the giraffe exhibit during that time.

Now, the zoo has again partnered with Earthcam to provide live coverage of the giraffe birth.

Like Greenville Zoo on Facebook or follow them on
Twitter for updates.

“This is great news for the zoo, the Greenville community and the giraffe Species Survival Program,” said Greenville Zoo Director Jeff Bullock. “We know the birth of Kiko truly captivated our community, and we hope our new addition will receive the same welcome to Greenville.”

The gestation period for giraffes is 15 months long.

According to the zoo's Facebook page, Autumn is expecting to deliver in early August.

According to the zoo, giraffes are born hooves-first.

Newborns usually weigh between 120 and 150 pounds and stand around 6 feet tall.

They normally take their first steps within an hour.


WATCH: The Birth Of Kiko 
GALLERY: Baby Kiko Pictures
ARCHIVE: Greenville Zoo Giraffe Stories

Addie Hampton
Addie is a general assignment reporter covering Greenville, Pickens and Laurens Counties.
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