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Jax zoo announces giraffe birthday

Special to SEGAZINE

giraffeJacksonville Zoo and Gardens is excited to announce the birth of its 35th Reticulated Giraffe. Born February 13 at 12:30 a.m., the male calf weighed 119 pounds and measured five feet four inches tall at birth. This was mother Zawadi’s eighth offspring and Duke’s, the calf’s father, 11th since he arrived at the Jacksonville Zoo in April 2003. The Zoo has had seven calves born in under four years.

 “It’s wonderful to celebrate another new zoo family member,” said Dan Maloney, deputy director of conservation and education at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. “Each addition is precious to us, and we look forward to watching him grow and develop throughout his lifetime, either here or at another accredited zoological park.”

The Zoo is also celebrating two graduations for Babe and R.B., who will each be transferred to new homes Wednesday morning. Babe, born June 30, 2012 to Zawadi and Duke, weighs 1015 pounds and stands 10 feet 7 inches tall at just 1 year and 8 months old. R.B. was born January 11, 2012 to Naomi, mother, and Duke, father. At two years old, he weighs 1212 pounds and stands 12 feet tall. Both of these relocations were recommended by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Species Survival Plan, whose mission is to “cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species population within AZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, and Approved Participants.” Duke, who fathered both Babe and R.B., has one of the most important bloodlines in North America, and his offspring are helping keep the giraffe population healthy.

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