Greenville Zoo's baby giraffe meets his father - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Greenville Zoo's baby giraffe meets his father

Kiko runs around the giraffe paddock after meeting his father Walter on Monday. (Nov. 19, 2012/FOX Carolina) Kiko runs around the giraffe paddock after meeting his father Walter on Monday. (Nov. 19, 2012/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Baby Kiko, Autumn and Walter have become celebrities in the Upstate.

If the names don't ring a bell, they make up the first family of giraffes at the Greenville Zoo. They were finally reunited Monday for the first time since Kiko was born in October.

Zoo staff said they kept mom and baby in a separate barn stall from Walter for the last month. The three could see each other, but not touch. Staff said the distance allowed Kiko and Autumn to establish their mother/son bond and kept Walter away from Autumn, who was in heat.

Now that she's not, after initial hesitation, Kiko got to know his dad.

SLIDESHOW: Baby giraffe frolics with mom, dad

The reunion came just in time for Thanksgiving week when families like the Hunts from Florida were also reuniting with their South Carolina family for the holiday.

"It's great seeing the reunion," said Ray Hunt, who was visiting the Greenville Zoo on Monday. "We just got to see mom come over and lick the baby's head and we got a good picture of that. It's real cute... it's just funny to see how no matter what the species, the maternal bond between the mom and child."

He was especially excited for the baby giraffe, since his wife Rosalyn had a new baby girl just last week.

The zoo is open every day except on Thanksgiving. Staff said the whole giraffe family will usually be out for everyone to see between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on sunny days, because that's when it's warm enough for baby Kiko.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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