Written By: News-Leader.com
Springfield, MO -- There's a new resident at Springfield's Dickerson Park Zoo.
A giraffe calf was born shortly after 2 p.m. Monday afternoon in the zoo's exhibit yard while curious guests and zoo staff members looked on.
The mother of the calf, Cheka, is a 19-year-old giraffe who was born at San Diego Zoo Safari Park in 1993. She arrived at Dickerson Park Zoo two years later. The calf's father, Peperuka, arrived at the zoo in 2011. Giraffes are generally pregnant for 14 to 15 months.
"We've had a lot of giraffe births here, and this is a very experienced mama," said Melinda Arnold, public relations director for the zoo. "She did a great job."
Arnold says the calf doesn't have a name yet because the zoo doesn't yet know if it is a male or a female. She said zookeepers will likely choose the name once that is established.
Visitors can see the Cheka, Peperuka and the calf in the zoo's exhibit yard, along with giraffes Gidget, Kamilli and Emma. An additional 14-month-old juvenile male, S.J., is scheduled to be transferred to another zoo later this month.
The zoo is open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through the end of September; beginning Oct. 1, zoo hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., weather permitting. More photos of the calf can be seen on the zoo's Facebook page.