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A Decade-Long Wait: Alabama Zoo Welcomes a Baby Giraffe

Image by WVTM 13 News via YouTube

In the early hours of Wednesday (April 17th), Alabama’s Birmingham Zoo, home to over 950 animals, welcomed a baby female giraffe, ending a ten-year wait.

Chris Pfefferkorn, CEO and president of the Birmingham Zoo, explained this miraculous event: “We are overjoyed to welcome this beautiful baby giraffe to our Zoo family.”

“Beautiful baby giraffe born at Birmingham Zoo, first in a decade”, Source: YouTube, Video: WVTM 13 News,

For the first time since 2014, visitors at Birmingham Zoo will have the joy of spotting a baby calf in its first few days of life. This will probably be the only time onlookers will look down rather than up. 

The parents are Ruby and Jalil, aged 4 and 17. The latter has been at the zoo since 2007, while the mother arrived in 2022, making this their first child together. While the calf is yet to be named, we do know it’s a female.

baby giraffe
Mother giraffe and baby walking in the grasslands. Image by Lisa H on Unsplash.

This will be Birmingham Zoo’s fifth member of their giraffe family, a species perishing in the wild, enduring significant population loss.

The arrival of the baby giraffe showcases Birmingham Zoo ongoing efforts in giraffe conservation. Zoo staff closely monitor the calf’s health and development, ensuring she receives the best care possible.

Excited zookeepers are planning opportunities for visitors to observe it’s early bonding moments with parents and her new surroundings. Education programs will highlight the importance of giraffe conservation and the threats facing these creatures in the wild.

Image by Frenjamin Benklin via Unsplash

As the days unfold, the calf will assert her independence, take her first tentative steps, and discover her unique personality. Zoo staff will document her growth milestones, providing valuable insights into her development and behavior.

Meanwhile, Ruby and Jalil, the proud parents, will continue to dote on their offspring, teaching her essential survival skills and nurturing her as she grows. Visitors to the Birmingham Zoo will witness heartwarming moments as the giraffe family bonds and interacts with each other, causing (hopefully) a deeper appreciation for these magnificent animals.

Image by Juan Gaspar de Alba via Unsplash

The latest addition to Birmingham Zoo’s giraffe family underscores the importance of captive breeding programs in safeguarding endangered species. Through education, conservation initiatives, and public engagement, zoos play a crucial role in raising awareness about the plight of giraffes in the wild and advocating for their protection.

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