• Jacksonville Zoo welcomes second baby giraffe


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The baby boom continues at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens with the birth of a second Reticulated giraffe calf on Sunday morning.

    The male was born to Luna and is the second son fathered by Duke since his passing in December. He joins a half-brother born just four days before him.

    Keepers were anticipating the birth of the young giraffe, knowing Luna was close to her due date. She was in the birthing suite when she delivered the petite but healthy calf at 4:10 a.m. Birth-camera footage shows the calf standing soon after birth and keepers are pleased to see healthy nursing.

    Veterinary staff preformed a neonatal exam on the young calf, giving him a visual inspection and his first round of vaccinations. The calf is only 5 foot 9 inches tall and weighs 119 lbs. As a contrast, the calf born last week to mother Naomi, the tallest giraffe in the JZG herd, is 6 foot 4 inches and 187 pounds.

    These two newborn boys will be the last of Duke’s offspring, and the last giraffe births at the Zoo until a new bull giraffe can join the herd. Population management decisions will be made with the help of the Species Survival Plan, expert advisers who work together to maximize genetic diversity and sustainability of the animals in zoos across the globe.


    In addition to the two touching giraffe births that continue the legacy of a treasured giraffe, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has been busy with other exciting births and hatchings! In recent weeks, the Zoo has welcomed the birth of a yellow-backed duiker, the hatching of two Black-faced ibis chicks, the hatching of a Magellanic penguin chick, and several exciting additions to the herpetology collection.

    The baby boom is expected to continue as the Zoo anticipates the births of additional exciting animals in the coming weeks. Recently, two jaguars arrived at the Zoo with a breeding recommendation. It is testament to the excellent care and facilities at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens that so many animals are happily reproducing.

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