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Rare Baby Giraffe Born: Only 670 Left in the Species

Update Date: Mar 25, 2013 01:48 PM EDT
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The Leo Zoological Conservation Center located in Greenwich, CT welcomed its first ever baby Rothschild giraffe this past Friday. The baby girl, who stands almost at six-feet-tall gives hope to the endangered species. The girl, who remains unnamed, took its first step with the help of its mother, six-year-old Petal. The founder and director of the conservation center, Marcella Leone is happy to see the healthy giraffe enter the world.

"Mom did it on her own. She's a great mom. She was very proud, trying to show off her newborn," Leone stated.

Rothschild giraffes are currently one of the most endangered subspecies with only a small number of giraffes left in existence. The giraffes are native to South Africa and are protected under several laws. The giraffe is listed on the IUCN Red List with less than 700 recorded giraffes left in the wild. Since these species are so endangered, the birth of a healthy calf was a sight to be seen. The workers at the conservation center stated that Petal went into labor and successfully gave birth without the help of any veterinary professionals. The newborn was described to be curious and has clearly bonded with her mother. She started walking about half an hour after being born. When fully grown, the calf will stand roughly 18-feet-tall.

Petal and her newborn live in a group of five giraffes, two of which are also pregnant. The conservation center is a nonprofit organization that has facilities catered to breeding endangered species. They have experienced the birth of several other species as well.

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