Wildilfe World Zoo welcomes new baby giraffe

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(Source: Wildlife World Zoo) (Source: Wildlife World Zoo)

Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park welcomes a newborn reticulated giraffe to the Family! Baby Austin made his debut into the world on Feb. 18, 2018. At just a few days old, this precious calf is already standing over 6 feet tall! 

Austin was born strong and healthy. He and his mother are doing great and will be on display each day at the giraffe exhibit. Female giraffes have a gestation of up to 15 months, one of the longest gestations in the animal kingdom.

"The calf is thriving under the close watch of his attentive mother. Over the next few weeks, keepers will continue to introduce mother and baby to the rest of the herd," said Wildlife World’s deputy director, Jack Ewert.

[RELATED: Wildlife World Zoo rings in New Year with births of 2 rare monkeys

At Wildlife World’s 12-foot-tall giraffe feeding station, visitors have an opportunity to feed and come face-to-face with the giraffes and see Austin. Using their 18-inch tongue and prehensile lips, these gentle giants will eat a mouthful of pellets right out of your hand for a one of a kind experience!

In the wild, the giraffe population is under a lot of pressure. This is largely due to habitat loss, fragmentation, degradation, poaching and ultimately the growth of the human population.

In 2016, the species was declared vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Joining in the fight to save the giraffe population from extinction, Wildlife World has raised nine giraffes in the last 16 years.

The giraffes are ambassadors for their species and inspire visitors to conserve and protect their wild counterparts.

Mickey Ollson, founder of the Wildlife World Zoo, believes the success of the zoo's internationally recognized giraffe breeding program is due to the expertise and dedication from its management, keepers and veterinary team, and Arizona's ideal climate conditions, which is similar to the savannas throughout Africa. 

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It's baby season at Wildlife World Zoo! Currently on display are Arizona’s first marine mammal, Sunny the Sea Lion, black swans, several hoofed animal species including llamas, gazelle and oryx, a variety of primate species and other youngsters throughout the 100-acre park.

Wildlife World’s keepers and veterinarians have raised dozens of species of wild and endangered animals over the past quarter-century. Wildlife World strives to maximize genetic diversity in the zoological population with its breeding programs. With more than 6.000 animals on display, there's always new arrivals at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Critter Corner]

As a USDA licensed, private institution, accredited by the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums (AMMPA), Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park receives zero taxpayer funding. No tax dollars have ever been spent to build or operate Wildlife World in its 33-year history.

Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park is located at 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park, AZ (SE corner of state route 303 and northern Ave.) Open seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all holidays. Zoo exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (last zoo admission is at 4:30 p.m.) Aquarium exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Admission includes access to the zoo, aquarium and safari park. 

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