Henry Doorly Zoo expects baby giraffe for Spring

8-year-old Zola will deliver the herd’s fifth calf.
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo announced Thursday a giraffe is expecting the herd's fifth addition.
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 10:08 AM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is expecting a baby from a first-time mother, eight-year-old Zola.

She’s in the home stretch. The giraffe is 12 months pregnant and only has three more months to go.

“Our team has been working with Josh and other keepers over the last several months to do ultrasounds, look at blood work, and monitor mom’s health to make sure she’s doing good,” says Dr. Taylor Yaw, senior veterinarian.

In a few more months, he says it will be a huge relief for Zola and a huge deal for the exhibit.

The expected calf will be the fifth addition to the herd.

“Specific to the giraffes, keepers are here every single day watching that weight and the appetite and they’ve made sure they have a bright maintenance,” Yaw said.

Jason Herrick is the vice president of conservation and animal health at the zoo. He said giraffe populations have been declining since the 1980s by about 40%.

“These species have actually gone extinct in seven countries in Africa,” Herrick said.

Since 1979, there have been 29 giraffe births at the zoo, and they’re hoping to have more in the future.