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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo announces birth

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This time of year it is not unusual to get birth announcements, but it is when the height and weight of the “baby” is nearly six feet tall and 123 pounds. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a baby Masai Giraffe calf that was born on June 22, 2014. The female calf is the daughter of first time mom Jhasmin and father Travis and is the 47th giraffe calf that was born at the Zoo since 1955.

"The baby is doing well and Jhasmin is proving to be a very attentive and nurturing parent," said Andi Kornak, the Zoo's Director of Animal and Veterinary Programs. "They will continue to spend bonding time together before the little one is introduced to the rest of the herd and joins them on exhibit."

The new born calf’s mother, Jhasmin is herself an offspring born at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 2005 while the father, Travis was born at the San Diego Zoo in 2006 and arrived in Cleveland in 2008. Other members of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s giraffe herd include females Jada and Grace. As of yet, the baby has not been named but plans are being made for a public “Name the Baby Giraffe” campaign that will be announced shortly.

Baby giraffes get an abrupt introduction into the world due to the fact that the females give birth standing up which means an up to six foot drop to the ground. The babies are usually around six foot tall with a weight of between 100 to 150 pounds.

Giraffes can be found in the savannas of Africa that lies south of the Sahara Desert. Masai giraffes such as the ones found in the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (Giraffa Camelopardalis tippelskirchi) are found in Kenya and Tanzania close to the Masai Mara National Reserve.

Giraffes are well known as the tallest mammals in the world with the males capable of reaching a height of up to 18 feet tall and a weight of up to 2,000 pounds. By using their long prehensile tongues (that are a bluish-purple color) they can strip leaves from the top of tree branches. Giraffes are known to live from 15 to 20 years in the wild and a few more years while in captivity.

Northeast Ohio's most-visited year-round attraction, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with hours extended to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Admission is $12.25 per person, $8.25 for kids ages 2 to 11 and free for children younger than 2 and Zoo members. Parking is free. Located at 3900 Wildlife Way, the Zoo is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 90 and 480.

For more information, visit clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo or call (216) 661-6500.

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