MILWAUKEE — Guests at Wisconsin’s Milwaukee County Zoo were treated to a rare sight last week: a baby reticulated giraffe born outdoors, right before their eyes.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and NPR, the healthy calf – the fourth for mother Ziggy and father Bahatika – arrived shortly before 12:30 p.m. Aug. 4 in the outdoor giraffe habitat as visitors looked on. Although zoos usually usher giraffes inside to give birth, Ziggy’s fast labor and reluctance to move inside forced a change of plans, the Journal Sentinel reported.
“We’ve had camels that have been born with the visitors there; giraffes, not so much,” zoo spokeswoman Jennifer Diliberti-Shea told NPR. “We think that the last one ... was in the 1990s.”
The attraction shared a video of the moment on its Facebook page, where the clip quickly went viral, racking up 29 million views in one week.
“Mom and baby will be indoors, which will be closed to visitors as they bond,” the zoo wrote alongside the post, adding that the new arrival was standing and nursing within an hour and a half of its birth.
On Tuesday, the zoo again took to social media to provide an update on the unnamed calf.
“It’s a boy!!” staffers captioned a Facebook video of the newborn, adding that he weighs just under 169 pounds and stands about 5 feet, 11 inches tall.
Guests can see the “strong, spunky and curious” new arrival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this week in the zoo’s giraffe building, according to the post.
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