Des Moines Blank Park Zoo welcomes six-foot-tall baby

(Des Moines, IA) -- The Des Moines Blank Park Zoo is announcing the birth of a giraffe calf. The male calf was born Monday, January 18, is six feet tall and weighs 125 pounds.

“This is terrific news to begin the New Year,” said Anne Shimerdla, president and CEO of Blank Park Zoo. “The calf appears to be healthy and quickly passed all the major milestones for a giraffe calf which include learning to stand and walk within an hour of birth and nursing from mom regularly.”

The calf’s mother, Skye, is a six year-old giraffe, who has lived at Blank Park Zoo since 2015. This is her first calf. Jakobi, the father, is 15 years-old and has previously sired several calves.

“We are fortunate that the birthing process was quick and Skye has been a great mother, allowing the calf to nurse quickly,” said Dr. Drew Gall, zoo veterinarian.

The Zoo will release several possible names January 28th, and the public will get to vote on their favorite. Voting will be free, and people will be able make a donation in honor of the new calf.

More information will soon be available

“We are so excited to welcome this healthy boy to our herd,” said Kayla Freeman, supervisor of large mammals. “It has been refreshing to watch Skye become such a great mom and Zola our other female giraffe is also doting and investing so much interest in him. We can’t wait our community to meet him.”

The Blank Park Zoo's Blumenthal indoor giraffe viewing area is currently closed to the public as Skye and the calf are bonding, but plans are underway for the public ‘first look’ in a couple weeks.

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