NORFOLK, Va. - The Virginia Zoo welcomed its first baby born in 2021, a Masai giraffe calf, on Monday, January 11.
The female calf, the eighth born to mom Imara and thirteenth for dad Billy, weighed 148.5 pounds at birth and stood 6 feet 1 inch tall.
According to the Virginia Zoo, its Animal Care Staff had been preparing for the calf's arrival, and Zoo veterinarian Dr. Tara Reilly performed a neonatal exam 24 hours after the birth.
"Mom and baby are bonding, and the calf is nursing well," the Zoo said in a statement. "She appears strong and is already learning to run!"
This birth brings the herd total to six, a record for the Zoo: females, Imara and her calf, Noelle and Kylie, and males, Teddy-Acacia and Billy. Masai giraffes are currently listed as endangered due to habitat loss and poaching, so the birth of this newest calf is especially important.
The Zoo is asking for help naming the baby giraffe, with proceeds going towards the Zoo's Act for Wildlife fund. For $5, anyone can submit a name suggestion between Thursday, January 14 and Thursday, January 21.
Click here to submit a name suggestion or learn more about the new baby giraffe.