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Meet the newest addition to the Franklin Park Zoo: a baby giraffe!

"While this little giraffe is sure to steal people’s hearts, she is also an important ambassador for her species."

The baby giraffe calf born at the Franklin Park Zoo on Sept. 22. Zoo New England / Screenshot of video

It’s a girl!

The Franklin Park Zoo shared pictures Wednesday of the not-so-little baby giraffe they welcomed on Sept. 22. The 6-foot-tall Masai giraffe calf was born to Amari, a 5-year-old giraffe also born at the zoo.

According to Zoo New England, the calf was quick to take its first steps: it stood within 30 minutes of its birth and was walking around soon after.

BABY ANIMALS

“The calf seems exceptionally friendly, bold, and curious. I was impressed that, once she was stable and confident enough to take her first, tentative steps, she walked right up to me before I could exit the stall,” Dr. Chris Bonar, senior veterinarian in Zoo New England’s Animal Health Department, said in a statement. “So far, Amari has been very attentive, which is especially important for a first-time mother.”

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She was pronounced a healthy baby after a full exam, and weighs in at 170 pounds. The baby daddy, 5-year-old Chad, joined the Franklin Park Zoo from the Santa Barbara Zoo in 2018, and the birth is the result of recommended breeding.

“We are thrilled to share the news of this birth,” John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO, said in a statement. “While this little giraffe is sure to steal people’s hearts, she is also an important ambassador for her species. By watching her grow, we hope that people will develop a better appreciation and understanding of giraffe, a species whose numbers in the wild have plummeted in recent years.”

Zoo New England participates in the Masai Giraffe Species Survival Plan, a cooperative program to maintain “genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species.” The Masai giraffe is one of four species of giraffes, and Zoo New England also partners with a program in Uganda to conserve the Nubian, or northern, giraffe. 

“Often overlooked in terms of research and conservation, giraffe have been undergoing a silent crisis,” Zoo New England wrote. “In just the past few years, their numbers in the wild have dropped dramatically with little notice. Giraffe have already been declared locally extinct in seven African countries, and population surveys estimate an overall 40% decline in the global giraffe population.”

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The calf is still bonding with her mom, but her exhibit debut will be announced on Facebook when it’s time.

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