Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium welcomes giraffe calf

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium welcomed a giraffe calf late Sunday afternoon, April 30. The mother is Dottie, a 17-year-old female reticulated giraffe and the father is 8-year-old Jawara.

The calf was standing within 40 minutes of birth and is nursing and doing well. The calf’s sex and weight are unknown at this time, but as we learn more, updates will be posted to the Zoo’s social channels. Dottie and her calf can be seen in the Giraffe Herd Rooms in a separate area before they are reintroduced to the rest of the herd over the next few weeks. There are currently eleven giraffe, two male, eight female and the calf, at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

The gestation for a giraffe is 15 months. Giraffe give birth while standing and the calf is born feet first. The calf will nurse for about four months, and then will begin consuming solid food. Calves gain about three and a half to four pounds per day, growing at an enormous rate the first year of life. Giraffe are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union of Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

There are currently 221 reticulated giraffe at 72 reporting Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited institutions. There have been 11 births in the last 12 months at AZA accredited zoos, including this recent birth.

Zoo visitors are invited to help name the calf by submitting a name at the giraffe exhibit. Submissions will be accepted until May 8 and the winner will be announced on May 17 online.