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It's a girl!

The staff at Franklin Park Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a female giraffe calf.

After a labor and delivery that lasted about an hour, Jana gave birth yesterday to a female giraffe calf at 11:40 a.m. inside the Giraffe Barn. Within 40 minutes of birth, the calf was standing. She was observed nursing about an hour and a half after birth.

The female calf had her first examination today by the Zoo’s veterinary staff. She weighs 160 pounds and stands 6-feet tall.

The calf’s parents, Beau and Jana, are very genetically valuable within the North American captive Masai giraffe population. Since 2006, Beau and Jana have had five successful births including the new calf. The pair are also grandparents as well, with offspring at zoos up and down the eastern United States.

“We are so thrilled to share the news of this exciting birth,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO. “Jana is an experienced mother and she is doing everything a mother giraffe should do. As with any new birth, we are continuing to monitor the mother and baby closely. So far, everything is going smoothly and we are looking forward to when visitors will be able to see the baby on exhibit with her mother.”

Beau and Jana were bred as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Zoo New England is an active participant in this program. SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species.

Giraffes are more temperature sensitive than other savannah animals, and are kept indoors when temperatures drop below 65 degrees. When weather conditions are favorable, the baby’s public exhibit debut will be announced via Facebook (/franklinparkzoo) and in our News section.

Learn more about the Masai giraffe in Franklin Park Zoo's Animals section.

Please note: Photo and video opportunities are not available at this time.

Images courtesy of Zoo New England/Amanda Giardina