DES MOINES, Iowa — The Blank Park Zoo announced the arrival of a male giraffe calf Friday afternoon.
The calf arrived on Tuesday at around 4:29 a.m. to mother Zola, 6, and father Jakobi, 17. The calf is 5 foot 5 inches and weighs 107 lbs.
“We are cautiously optimistic the calf is healthy because he passed all the major milestones for a newborn which include quickly learning to stand, walk, and nurse from mom regularly,” Jay Tetzloff, chief zoo veterinarian said.
On September 14 the public will be able to help name the calf. The zoo will release several possible names and the public will vote on their favorite.
To celebrate the birth of the giraffe, the public will be able to bid now through Saturday, September 10, auction style, to be one of the first to see him in a behind-the-scenes tour. Other items can be bid on and the money raised will go towards the Blank Park Zoo.
“We are so excited to welcome this healthy boy to our herd,” Kayla Freeman, supervisor of large mammals said. “It has been refreshing to watch Zola become such a great mom. We can’t wait for our community to meet him.”
Zola and the calf are currently bonding away from public view, but Zoo officials hope visitors will be able to meet him later this fall.