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It's a girl: Giraffe gives birth at Colorado zoo

The new calf is the sibling of a giraffe that moved to the Denver Zoo in July.
Credit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Bailey and her new baby girl.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A reticulated giraffe at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has welcomed her second calf.

Bailey, the giraffe mom, gave birth just before 11 a.m. Wednesday.

The calf is the second for Bailey and the seventh for father Khalid. She is the 17th member of the zoo's reticulated giraffe herd.

The zoo said Bailey and the baby will be visible from a short distance to guests in the giraffe barn Thursday, as long as mom and calf continue to appear healthy and calm. If mom and baby show any signs of discomfort, the barn will be closed. 

The calf appears to be healthy, having met milestones her care team wants to see, like taking her first steps and nursing within the first two hours after she was born.

> Watch the birth in the video below:

The zoo said the calf made several attempts to stand on her own, which is normal for giraffe calves. After a few stumbles, the calf maneuvered herself against a fence where she was struggling to get footing. The giraffe care team asked Bailey to move into the stall next to her baby, which she did willingly. The care team then entered the stall with the calf, picked up the calf, and moved her into the center of the stall, where she managed to stay on her feet and was quickly rejoined by her mom.

Because the care team needed to intervene for just a moment, they were able to confirm the calf is female. 

The baby's exact height and weight haven't yet been determined, but the zoo said she appears to be a normal weight and height for a calf – close to six feet tall and around 125 pounds. 

The zoo said a healthy giraffe gestation can last from 14 to 16 months, and Bailey's last pregnancy was one day short of 15 months long. With another 15-month pregnancy, the baby's due date was Wednesday.

Following Cheyenne Mountain Zoo tradition, the calf will not be named until she is at least 30 days old.

Credit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
A reticulated giraffe was born around 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, in Colorado Springs.
Credit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Bailey and her new baby girl.

Bailey was born at Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha in March 2012 and moved to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in September 2016.

Bailey and Khalid's first calf, BB, was born in September 2020 and moved to the Denver Zoo in July of this year.

In September, the zoo began a special live stream broadcast from Bailey's overnight stall. Viewers can see Bailey and the rest of the herd during the day on the zoo's two outdoor giraffe cams, which are also available on their website.

The Colorado Springs zoo's giraffe breeding program began in 1954 and has welcomed more than 200 calves since its inception.

Credit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

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