ROCHESTER, N.Y. – For the second time in less than three months, New York state’s Seneca Park Zoo has welcomed a baby Masai giraffe.
According to Spectrum News 1, the Rochester attraction said the unnamed calf, born Tuesday, is doing fine and bonding with first-time mom Kipenzi.
On April 29, Masai giraffes Iggy and Parker also welcomed a calf, Olmsted, the zoo said in a news release.
“The birth of a giraffe is a rare occurrence at zoos, so two in one year is a true gift for Seneca Park Zoo,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said in a statement Tuesday, adding that the zoo’s veterinary team is providing “around-the-clock care” for the newborn.
Zoo Director Steve Lacy said workers are “hopeful” about the new arrival, despite the high mortality rates of baby giraffes.
“The first few weeks of life are critical and can present challenges not seen at birth,” he said in a statement. “Zoo staff will be monitoring baby and mom 24/7.”
The zoo is temporarily closing part of its Animals of the Savanna exhibit and suspending tram service as the mother and baby bond, according to the release. Officials did not say whether the new arrival is male or female.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources considers Masai giraffes endangered. As of 2018, about 35,000 mature Masai giraffes remained in the wild, according to the organization’s website.