Santa Barbara Zoo catches baby giraffe birth on camera

9:07 PM, Apr 19, 2013   |    comments
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By Victoria Sanchez

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (KEYT/CNN) - California's Santa Barbara Zoo is welcoming a new addition, a baby giraffe.

Cameras captured the giraffe's birth Thursday, and the video is a bit graphic.

You could hear the excitement. Everyone wanting a glimpse of the baby giraffe.

"I heard that one was born yesterday," said visitor Kaitlyn Riley.

Zoo visitors were the first ones to notice that Audrey was in labor.

"The first hoof was actually sticking out. Shortly followed by the second hoof and she went into some serious contractions and within about two hours, roughly about two hours, she'd given birth to this beautiful calf," said Dr. Julie Barnes, zoo veterinarian.

You can see it all in the video from the Santa Barbara Zoo as the baby drops about four feet from its mother.

"He came out with a bit of speed, hit the ground. That's a good thing, hitting the ground gives him a little jolt, helps him to want to breathe," said Dr. Barnes.

And it's a bouncing baby boy. Or is it? Zoo keepers weren't sure, but thought it could be a boy.

If it is, his name will be Dane. If it turns out to be a girl, she'll be the light of the herd and be called Sunshine.

Although there were some stumbles along the way, with some encouragement from mom, it took its first steps in just an hour.

"We're still working on that mom and baby bond, and because Audrey didn't nurse her first calf we want to make sure she's going to allow this calf to," said zoo employee Wendy Anderson.

So far, both baby and mom are doing well.

The Santa Barbara Zoo is expecting another bundle of joy at any moment. Betty-Lou, the other pregnant giraffe, is 15 months pregnant and past her due date.



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