An S.C. zoo is attracting tens of thousands of online visitors who want to see its latest and quite adorable addition: A baby girl giraffe.
Autumn, the Greenville Zoo’s 12-year-old Masai giraffe, gave birth at 11:52 a.m. Wednesday, and the zoo is inviting the public to help name her.
The zoo posted a video on its Facebook page on Thursday showing Autumn with her calf. The video drew 37,300 views by Friday night.
“Both Autumn and the calf are doing well, and the zoo’s animal care staff has been monitoring the calf to ensure that she meets important benchmarks, such as nursing successfully,” the zoo said on Facebook.
On Thursday afternoon, all tests came back normal when staff performed a routine neonatal exam on the calf, zoo officials said Friday. The exam included determining her height, weight and sex.
Blood tests were also done to determine her overall health and whether she is receiving important antibodies from Autumn’s milk. She is.
Miles, the calf’s father, will remain separated from Autumn and the calf for several weeks to let mom and baby bond without interruption. During that time, the calf should gain strength and learn its way around the giraffe exhibit as well, officials said.
“We’re all pleased to see the calf making great progress from the time of birth onward,” Dr. Nikolay Kapustin, deputy zoo administrator and veterinarian, said on the zoo’s Facebook page. “She has been nursing very well, and Autumn is being very attentive to her.”
While the zoo is closed for annual maintenance through next Friday, the zoo’s staff has launched a baby naming contest and invites the public to submit female names online until noon next Thursday.
Zookeepers will select a favorite from the submitted names, and the winner will be announced Feb. 9 on the zoo’s Facebook page.