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Abilene Zoo announces two giraffe pregnancies

The calves could arrive as early as this month.
Credit: Abilene Zoo

ABILENE, Texas — The Abilene Zoo announced two giraffe pregnancies and a possible third one Thursday, saying the calves could be born as early as this month.

According to a press release from the zoo, two pregnancies were confirmed by zoo veterinarian, Dr. Stephanie Carle.

Giraffes Jamie and Punk could give birth as soon as this month, however, Sunny has not allowed zoo staff to confirm her pregnancy. If Sunny is pregnant, she could also deliver as early as this month.

The sire, Congo, arrived at the Abilene Zoo from San Diego Safari Park in June 2019, and showed interest in the female giraffes during the initial introduction.

Zoo General Curator Denise Ibarra said Congo was fully-integrated into the herd by August 2019, and the daily welfare confirmed his pursuit of each female. Traditional courtship behaviors were also observed.

Animal care staff have conducted daily monitoring since the potential pregnancies were discovered in fall 2019.

"Our goal is to increase our herd and to increase the giraffe population. Any giraffe birth is significant due to the species' decline in the wild. Africa's overall giraffe population has decreased by as much as 40% in the last three decades and are now endangered," Ibarra said.