Santa Barbara Zoo Welcomes Baby Giraffe

The Masai Giraffe calf was born in the wee hours of March 14.

Santa Barbara Zoo

BUTTERCUP GETS A BUDDY: Mavens of the stately and beautiful Masai giraffe have been having something of a field day, especially if they call Southern or Central California home. There was the birth of Buttercup at the Santa Barbara Zoo in November 2014 and the choosing of the winner of the Super Bowl by Artie, a Masai giraffe who calls the Los Angeles Zoo home. Now a new Masai giraffe is on the scene, brand-brand-brand-new, new as of 1:55 a.m. on Saturday, March 14. The Santa Barbara Zoo welcomed a not-so-wee calf at that time, and though the sex of the gangly-legged beauty has not been revealed, we do know that mother Betty Lou is doing well. The father of the already-on-its-feet baby? That would be Michael, who also sired Buttercup. (Buttercup's mother is Audrey, giraffeans will surely know; Audrey and Betty Lou are the Santa Barbara Zoo's two female Masai giraffes.)

MOM AND BABY... cannot yet be seen and cooed over by an eager public, but keep an eye on the zoo's social media pages for the announcement of when that will happen. Don't fear you'll wait too long -- Buttercup's public hello happened a week or so after his November birth. As you anticipate seeing the new infant, you can bone up on your giraffe facts at the zoo's web site, like how long the gestation period lasts (an impressive fourteen to fifteen months). As for how many Masai giraffes now call the zoo home? That would be five with the recent addition.

IN OTHER ZOO BABY NEWS... Joanne, San Diego Zoo Safari Park's young gorilla, marked her first birthday on Thursday, March 12 with a yam-and-fruit cake and other goodies (including a cardboard dollhouse with her name emblazoned on the front). Adorableness is not in short supply on the internet, but the birthday party photos might out-adorable every other baby animal photo out there.

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