PHOENIX — Welcome to the world, Noel!
The six-foot-tall reticulated giraffe was born at Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park a few days before Christmas, the zoo announced recently.
The giraffe calf is currently spending time with mom south of the barn and will be slowly introduced to the rest of the giraffe herd, said Kristy Morcom, director of the zoo's media relations.
Both will then be introduced to the main pasture at their own pace. "When it’s warm enough, she is visible when she and mom are outside," Morom said in an email.
Noel marks at least the fourth giraffe to be born at the zoo in the last few years.
- Jackie, a female reticulated giraffe, was born at the zoo in March 2020.
- Jarabi, a male reticulated giraffe, was born in June 2019
- Austin, a male reticulated giraffe, joined the herd in February 2018
In a statement, the zoo's director Jack Ewert said "the calf is thriving under the close watch of her attentive mother. Over the next few weeks, keepers will begin to introduce mother and baby to the rest of the herd."
Giraffes typically have a gestation period of 15 months. Their populations are "under pressure," the zoo said because of habitat loss, fragmentation, degradation, poaching, and human population growth.
The zoo is located near the Loop 303 and Northern Avenue in Litchfield Park.