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NPR News

Baby Giraffe Born At Cincinnati Zoo

Tessa licks her calf.

Early Saturday morning at the , an 1,800-pound Maasai giraffe named Tessa gave birth to her first calf — the first giraffe born there in 26 years. In the wild, about 75 percent of giraffe calves are killed by predators in their first few months of life, but this one stands a much better chance of living.

According to the zoo's Twitter feed, the veterinarian is still determining the giraffe's sex; spokesperson Tiffany Barnes says they are leaning toward female, but don't want to interfere with the bonding experience. Once the gender is announced, the zoo will be taking name suggestions on Facebook. Tessa and the calf haven't been seen by zoo visitors yet, but people everywhere can enjoy these adorable photos — and this video, which, full disclosure, shows the birthing!

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Tessa stretches down to lick her calf.
Dave Jenike / Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Close-up of giraffe calf face
Dave Jenike / Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Zookeepers say they don't know the calf's official weight just yet — "we are giving it time to bond with  its family," a spokesperson said. The zoo estimates the calf weighs approximately 100  pounds and stands between 5 and 6 feet tall.
Dave Jenike / Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Zookeepers say they don't know the calf's official weight just yet — "we are giving it time to bond with its family," a spokesperson said. The zoo estimates the calf weighs approximately 100 pounds and stands between 5 and 6 feet tall.