Memphis Zoo welcomes baby giraffe

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 6-foot tall, 150-pound newborn is the latest addition to the Memphis Zoo.

Fitz, a reticulated baby giraffe, was born Tuesday on his dad’s birthday. He is the tenth calf for his father, Nik, and the fourth for his mom, Wendy.

Fitz is already on display at the zoo, and animal keepers said his mother, Wendy, has been taking good care of him.

The Memphis Zoo said the calf’s birth is significant and part of a Species Survival Plan that manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.

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According to the zoo, in the wild, giraffes as a species are undergoing what has been termed a “silent extinction” as they are rapidly disappearing in their native habitat. The population overall has declined by 40% in the last 30 years.

“You can help support giraffe conservation by teaching others about giraffes, supporting sustainable agriculture, advocating against poaching, and helping to reverse climate change,” said the Memphis Zoo.

Giraffes are the tallest land animals, reaching heights of 14-18 feet. Reticulated giraffes are known for the polygon shapes made by the brown and white pattern of their fur.

If the weather is nice, zoo officials said Fitz will be out first thing in the morning and stay out for a few hours each day. They said Fitz is usually exploring and staying close to his mom.

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