• Baby giraffe born at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

    By: Stephanie Brown , NEWS 104.5 WOKV

    Updated:

    There’s a new member of the giraffe herd at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, and it marks more than just a new birth.

    A baby Reticulated giraffe boy was born Wednesday and appears to be in good health. He has stood and has already shown healthy nursing behavior, according to the Zoo.


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    This calf is a special addition, because his father passed away this past December. Duke was the 21-year-old patriarch of the Zoo’s giraffe herd, but suffered age-related degenerative disease. At the time of his death, the Zoo hoped one or two of the female giraffes were pregnant, and this calf marks Duke’s 18th offspring overall.

    PHOTOS: Baby giraffe born at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

    “The arrival of our beloved Duke’s son is an especially moving way to honor his amazing legacy. We’re all looking forward to watching this little guy grow and develop,” says Deputy Zoo Director Dan Maloney.

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    The mother of the calf, Naomi, is an experienced mother, according to the Zoo. This baby is her 7th. The calf is 187 lbs. and 6’4”.

    The two will be allowed to bond behind the scenes today, and the herd will then get acquainted with the baby in a side holding yard for a couple of days. The Zoo hopes to have mom and calf on exhibit by the weekend.

    This is the Zoo’s 42nd giraffe calf.

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