JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WSAV) – There’s a new baby giraffe at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
This is the zoo’s first reticulated giraffe or Somali giraffe born in two years — and the 44th giraffe calf born in the zoo’s history.
Zoo officials say keepers saw 13-year-old Luna in labor around 10:45 a.m. Friday before they closed down the giraffe overlook to guests to give the mom a quiet environment to welcome her son into the world.
The calf was born at 11:35 a.m. and stood for the first time about 30 minutes later.
“This birth was a special experience that we were excited to share with our guests. Luna and her calf are doing great, and we are looking forward to watching this little one grow,” said Assistant Curator of Mammals Corey Neatrour.
According to veterinary staff, the male calf appears to be in good health. He weighs around 165 pounds and is 6 feet tall.
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens staff say his birth is just one of the many celebrated this year. In recent months, the zoo has welcomed a gorilla, monkey and tortoise, along with penguins and many other animals.