Greenville Zoo’s nine-year-old Masai girrafe, Autumn, gave birth at about 6:15a.m. Tuesday.
Both Autumn and the calf are doing well, and the zoo’s medical staff is monitoring the calf to make sure it is standing and nursing like it should.
“I think we all here at the zoo have had a lot of sleepless nights, just so excited and not knowing when she would give birth,” Dr. Christy Belcher said, who helped with the birth. “I didn’t even pay attention to the time or weather or even that it was foggy out. We were just so excited.”
“Everything was a real positive situation fortunately,” said Dr. Nick Kapustin, who also helped deliver the calf. “If it is a good day, we don’t have to intervene. We just watch and let mother nature take its course.”
The zoo staff will perform a routine neonatal exam on the calf within the next couple of days to determine the calf’s height, weight, and sex.
Autumn and her calf will be separated from the father, Walter, for the next few weeks to allow them to bond, and to give the calf time to gain some strength.
The zoo is currently closed for maintenance, but zoo officials are allowing the public to submit male and female baby names for the calf online until Thursday, Feb. 11th, at 12p.m.
Once the contest is over, zookeepers will pick a favorite and announce it at a news conference they will be holding on Friday, Feb. 12th.
They will introduce the calf and share its sex and vital statistics at the news conference as well.