There’s a new baby animal for guests to “ooh” and “aww” over at Lion Country Safari.
The park, located at 2003 Lion Country Safari Road in Loxahatchee, welcomed a new male giraffe calf on Dec. 27. The addition of the calf brings the drive-thru safari park’s number of giraffes to 17, one of the largest giraffe herds in the United States.
The calf was born just after the park opened for the day, and a line of guests watched from their cars as he was born and then began to bond with his mother, 18-year-old Ayanna, Lion Country Safari said in a news release.
Guests driving through the park will be able to see Ayanna and her calf in the giraffe maternity area, the news release said. The calf weighs about 150 pounds and stands 5 feet 10 inches tall. For perspective, if you’ve met me — this newborn giraffe is taller than I am.
After a poll on Lion Country Safari’s Facebook page, the calf was named Kandoro, which is Swahili for sweet potato.
Some more background from Lion Country Safari’s news release:
“Giraffes reproduce year-round, with females giving birth to a single large calf after a gestation period of approximately fifteen months. Females give birth standing up and calves are usually able to stand and run within a few hours following birth. …
“Giraffes are undergoing a silent extinction and have experienced a 30% decline in population since the 1980’s. As a single species, giraffes are listed as “Vulnerable,” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and two of the subspecies are now listed as “Critically Endangered.” Lion Country Safari is a proud partner of AZA’s Giraffe SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program and a supporter of Giraffe Conservation Foundation.”
For more information, go to www.lioncountrysafari.com.