The Franklin Park Zoo is holding a naming contest for a baby giraffe born late last month, the zoo announced Wednesday.
The female giraffe, born Nov. 27, stands taller than many of those at the zoo caring for her, at a height of 6 feet 5 inches, and she weighs 165 pounds, the zoo said. She learned to stand just an hour after birth.
This is the fourth successful birth since 2006 for the calf’s parents, Beau and Jana, who were bred as part of a species survival plan for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It is a remarkable feat for Beau, who was diagnosed with the incurable giraffe wasting syndrome in 2003, the zoo said. The condition causes weight loss, chronic hypoglycemia, and an energy-deficient state for giraffes.
Beau, 14, is the longest living giraffe in the world with the disease, the zoo said.
“We are so thrilled to share the exciting news of this incredible birth,” John Linehan, the zoo’s president, said in a statement. “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 couldn’t be happier.”
Visitors will not be able to see the calf until the spring. The giraffes, which are savannah animals, cannot be outside if the temperature is below 65 degrees, the zoo said.
Zoo patrons can submit a name for the giraffe calf by bringing ideas to the Franklin Park Zoo’s admission booth, donating to the zoo’s Zoodoption program, or mailing the name to “Baby Giraffe,” c/o Franklin Park Zoo, One Franklin Park Road, Boston, MA 02121. The winning name will be announced in February.Sarah N. Mattero
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