Endangered Rothschild Giraffe Gives Birth To Female Calf At Connecticut Zoo [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on March 25, 2013 8:19 AM EDT

A rare Rothschild giraffe has given birth to a healthy, female calf at LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Connecticut.

The calf was born in the early morning hours March 22. She is the first-ever Rothschild giraffe to have been born at the facility and possibly the first in Connecticut's history.

Giraffes have an average of 15-month gestation period. They give birth while standing. On March 22, the six-year-old Petal began the early stages of labor. At 9.04am, she gave birth to her daughter.

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"Petal has bonded extremely well, was very attentive, and began nurturing her calf right away. Within 30 minutes of the birth, the calf was standing and nursing," Zoo officials said in a press statement.

The calf would be mingling with five other giraffes, including two pregnant ones. She could reach up to a height of 18 feet, according to the Associated Press.

Rothschild giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are the most endangered subspecies of giraffes in the world. These giraffes were first named and described by Lord Walter Rothschild, a British zoologist following an expedition to East Africa in the early 1900s, the AP report said.

There are fewer than 670 Rothschild giraffes left in the wild. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified the Rothschild giraffes as "Endangered." These giraffes are facing a number of threats including traditional hunting, poaching for the tourist trade and habitat loss.

Watch the video.

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