Santa Barbara

Meet Chad, Santa Barbara's Baby Giraffe

The not-so-wee Masai giraffe was born in Santa Barbara on Saturday, March 26.

Timing is often said to play a major role in many of our day-to-day affairs, whether we're wading into traffic at just the right moment or booking a plane ticket moments after a sale begins.

But let's get to the heart of what timing is really all about, when it comes right down to it: baby animals. Springtime and furry newborns are a twosome as old as time itself, and, as far as timing goes, we animal-obsessed humans crave cute snapshots of bouncing baby beasties right around the time spring arrives.

Our gratitude is deep, then, for Audrey, the Masai giraffe who calls the Santa Barbara Zoo home. Audrey gave birth on Saturday night, March 26, just hours ahead of Easter, an occasion known for its baby bunnies and wee ducklings and now, yes, its tall newborn giraffes.

Quite tall: The baby, who is not yet a week old at this typing, measures six feet and six inches. The bambino is a boy -- that wasn't known for the first several hours after Audrey gave birth -- and his name was just revealed to giraffe-joyful people everywhere: Chad.

It's a moniker that honors the Dreier family, longtime supporters of the zoo. 

And while baby Chad and mom Audrey aren't yet saying hello to the public, you can keep an eye on the zoo site to see when the big day arrives.

There are more big days in store, as Betty Lou, another giraffe at the Santa Barbara Zoo, is due to give birth in July 2016.


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Want to help Chad, his mother, and all the spot-tastic, long-of-neck superstars of the zoo? Join the Giraffe Foster Feeders, which help the food end of raising robust giraffes, and receive "a baby photo of the calf" as well as "a certificate, a giraffe fact sheet, and recogniction on the Zoo's Foster Feeder board."

That fact sheet may reveal this fascinating slice of 'raffe amazingness: A giraffe's gestatation period lasts for 14.5 months. Amazing? Totally, as was baby Chad's weight just two days after his birth: 191 pounds.

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