SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A giraffe was born at the Santa Barbara Zoo Thursday afternoon.
Audrey, a five-year old Masai giraffe, gave birth just before 4 p.m. to what is believed to be a male calf, the zoo said in a news release.
Audrey is the same giraffe who gave birth to the "surprise calf" Daniel in January 2011. But unlike Daniel, the new calf appears to be nursing normally and not expected to need any hand-rearing, the news release stated.
The calf will undergo a medical exam Friday afternoon to assess its health and determine when he will be on view to the public.
"This birth is special in so many ways," said Zoo Director Nancy McToldridge. "It is always a joy to see a new life begin and, in a way, it helps ease the pain of losing Daniel last summer. Scientifically, this calf is very valuable genetically to all regionally managed Masai giraffes because his father, Michael, is not related to any of the female Masai giraffes in the United States."
Betty Lou, the zoo's other Masai female, is also pregnant and could give birth any time.
Updates about the calf and second birth are posted daily on the Zoo's website: www.sbzoo.org.
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