Baby giraffe is newest addition to Saint Louis Zoo

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 | 11:30 a.m. CDT; updated 7:37 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ST. LOUIS — The Saint Louis Zoo’s newest arrival is all legs.

A reticulated giraffe born Saturday is standing tall with his mom.

The male baby was born outdoors in view of a crowd of 400 onlookers. He weighs 143 pounds and stands more than 6 feet tall.

This is the sixth calf for Jessie and Dexter, who has sired 11 calves altogether. Mom and baby are doing well and can be seen together outdoors at Red Rocks, weather permitting, or inside the Antelope House.

Mother giraffes are very affectionate and protective toward their babies, touching and licking them frequently. Jessie’s gestation period was about 15 months.

Reticulated giraffes are threatened in the wild because of habitat loss and hunting.

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Erin VanSickle June 18, 2008 | 1:14 a.m.

Actually, as an interesting side note, the giraffe was left outside for zoo-goers and the baby was born in front of an enormous crowd at the zoo, and the baby giraffe stood up the same day. The AP clearly was not at the zoo that day with the rest of us, otherwise this would have been a far more interesting little story.

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