DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO13) — The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa, announced the arrival of a male giraffe calf Friday afternoon.
The calf arrived on Tuesday at around 4:29 a.m. The offspring of mother Zola, 6, and father Jakobi, 17, the calf is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 107 pounds.
“We are cautiously optimistic the calf is healthy because he passed all the major milestones for a newborn which include quickly learning to stand, walk, and nurse from mom regularly,” said Chief Zoo Veterinarian Jay Tetzloff.
The public will be able to help name the calf on Sept. 14, when voting from a list of names begins.
To celebrate the birth of the giraffe, the public will be able to bid now through Saturday, Sept. 10, auction-style, to be one of the first to see him in a behind-the-scenes tour. Other items can be bid on and the money raised will go towards the Blank Park Zoo.
“We are so excited to welcome this healthy boy to our herd,” Kayla Freeman, supervisor of large mammals said. “It has been refreshing to watch Zola become such a great mom. We can’t wait for our community to meet him.”
Zola and the calf are currently bonding away from public view, but Zoo officials hope visitors will be able to meet him later this fall.