COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Less than two weeks after the birth of a giraffe calf at Riverbanks Zoo, we're getting our first look at baby and mom up close!
The calf, born on Monday, April 2, is the eighth giraffe to be born at Riverbanks Zoo since 2009. The baby girl, which has not been named yet, is the third for mom Ginger (18) and the first for dad Bruce.
"The little girl's father is Bruce," said Andrea Mueller, Riverbanks Zoo's Operant Conditioning Coordinator and Elephant Manager. "He is our newest male and he came to us in 2014, so he actually is going to hopefully father even more giraffes with our females."
While our cameras were rolling, the calf nursed from its mom and spent time watching us and our movements. Keepers say the calf is part of a survival plan for the species that is facing a dramatic population decrease in the wild.
"People haven't really been paying too much attention to the population of giraffes in the wild, and now we're starting to realize that their numbers have decreased dramatically due to poaching, habitat loss and human conflict," added Mueller. "So we're trying now more than ever to bring awareness to the plight of the giraffe."
As long as the calf continues to receive proper nourishment and the weather remains above 60 degrees and sunny, keepers say she should be out on exhibit next week.
That's also when the zoo is expected to announce more about how you have a chance to help give her a name.