Another baby giraffe joins herd at Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

Thabisa, a female reticulated giraffe, was born Nov. 21 at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, the zoo announced Thursday. (Courtesy of Fort Wayne Children's Zoo)

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo welcomed another reticulated giraffe calf last week, raising the prospects for fun viewing for visitors when the zoo opens for the season next spring.

“I am thrilled to have two calves in the barn, and will be so excited to see them running and playing together on exhibit next season,” Amber Eagleson, area curator for the zoo’s African Journey and Indonesian Rain Forest areas, said in a news release. “One baby alone is incredibly entertaining to watch, and I cannot wait to see what sort of antics two calves together will cause.”

The female calf Thabisa (ta-BEE-sa), which means “to bring joy” in Swahili, was born about 11:20 a.m. Nov. 21 to adult female Faye, who became a first-time mother, the news release said.

Thabisa stood about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighed about 134 pounds at birth, the news release said.

About three days later, zookeepers noticed Thabisa was mildly lethargic and breathing in an unusual manner, the news release said. Veterinary staff examined her and started treatments that seem to have her returning to good health.

“Just this morning, I saw her running and playing like any youngster should, which definitely makes my heart sing,” zoo veterinarian Dr. Kami Fox said in the news release.

Thabisa joins Kita, who was born in August, as the youngsters in the zoo’s herd of seven female and two male reticulated giraffes.

The births are important, the news release said, because giraffe populations in the wild have been dropping dramatically due to poaching, habitat destruction and human violence, the news release said.

The zoo also has tried to help wild giraffes by donating to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, which does research on giraffes and works to save them, the news release said.