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Rare Giraffe Born: Newborn Takes First Steps at LEO Zoological Conservation Center [VIDEO]

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Mar 25, 2013 09:40 AM EDT

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A rare giraffe was born in a zoo this past week and the baby has already made its only debut in a video.

According to The Greenwich Time, a six-year-old Rothschild giraffe gave birth to a nearly 6-foot tall baby at a Connecticut conversation center. The giraffe is listed as an endangered subspecies, so the birth was a special one.

The female baby was born to a giraffe name Petal as other giraffes and staff at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center looked on.

According to Marcella Leone, the founder and director of the center, the baby giraffe is already curious as it approached humans within its first few days.

Leone said the mom is doing well too.

"She's a great mom,"  Marcella Leone told the Greenwich Time. "She was very proud, trying to show off her newborn."

She said the mother gave birth without any help and she cleaned the baby with her long tongue after it was born. The baby started standing and nursing 30 minutes after being born and the moment was caught on video.

"It's really astonishing how a huge animal like that ... how delicately and in such a nurturing way she approaches caring for her calf," Leone told the Time.

The young animal could reach up to 18 feet in height when fully grown and it will be with five adult giraffes, two of which are pregnant.

This newborn is the first ever born at the off-exhibit conservation center.

This particular type of giraffe, the Rothschild giraffe was named after British zoologist, Lord Walter Rothschild. He described the animal after an expedition to East Africa in the early 1900s.

The conservation center is running a contest to see the baby. The person who comes closest to guessing the date and time of birth are also invited to visit the newborn and her family. Click here to enter.


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