DENVER - It's pronounced 'gair-uh-nook,' and if you head to the Denver Zoo this spring, you may just see the first ever Gerenuk calf born in the Mile High City. Her name is Blossom.
The word "gerenuk" means "giraffe-necked" in the Somali language.
According to Denver Zoo, Blossom was born on March 6th to parents Woody and Layla.
Gerenuk's are generally shy, but the zoo says Blossom has begun venturing out into her yard and loves to run and jump with excitement at her new visitors.
Blossom is mom Layla's first calf and she is proving to be a very attentive mother, frequently cleaning and checking on her young daughter.
The small antelope species weighs between 60 and 100 pounds and generally inhabit bushland, thickets, semi-arid and arid thornbush of eastern Africa.
Gerenuks have the unique ability to stand up completely vertical on their hind legs. This nearly doubles their height as they browse for hard to reach leaves and twigs in trees.
Denver Zoo is working with private nature conservancies and group tribal ranches to protect land for gerenuks and other species in Kenya.
Gerenuks have an estimated wild population of about 95,000 and are classified as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss and fragmentation.
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