Rrare site graced a zoo in Connecticut in the early hours this weekend. On March 22 at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center, an endangered Rothschild giraffe, Petal, went into the early stages of labor. The 6-year-old giraffe gave birth to a healthy, female calf, and bonded extremely well with her new baby. Workers also reported the young mother as being very attentive, who soon began nurturing her new calf, according to ABC News. (And just for those of us who didn't know, a calf is the term for a baby giraffe--not just a baby cow.)
Sources say the new baby can be noted for her curious nature, as she was standing and nursing just 30 minutes after birth. Mother giraffes give birth while standing, according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, following an average 15 month gestation period. Her birth marks a huge milestone for the low impact conservation center, as she is the first giraffe born at the facility and quite possibly the first in Connecticut's history.
The Rothschild giraffe, found in Africa, is classified as endangered on IUCN Red List and there are fewer than 670 left in the wild. LEOZCC is a nonprofit, accredited conservation center and offsite breeding facility specializing in species at risk and conservation based education programs. LEOZCC is no stranger to newborns and is expecting more giraffe, tapir, kangaroo and primate births this Spring.