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Zoo's Newest Arrival

Newest arrival at Houston Zoo has a face guaranteed to melt hearts

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3 baby giraffe at Houston Zoo August 2014
The Houston Zoo welcomes this darling baby to the zoo family. Photo courtesy of Houston Zoo
1 baby giraffe at Houston Zoo August 2014
The calf weighs 132 pounds and is 6 feet tall.  Photo courtesy of Houston Zoo
2 baby giraffe at Houston Zoo August 2014
Mama Neema delivered her baby girl at 7:20 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 3. Photo courtesy of Houston Zoo
3 baby giraffe at Houston Zoo August 2014
1 baby giraffe at Houston Zoo August 2014
2 baby giraffe at Houston Zoo August 2014

Houston Zoo officials are already swooning over the big, batting eyes and oh-so-lush lashes of its newest family member, a female Masai giraffe.

Mama Neema delivered the healthy female calf shortly after 7 am on August 3 at the McGovern Giraffe Habitat at The African Forest following a 14.5-month pregnancy. The calf now weighs 132 pounds and is 6 feet tall.

"After a very short labor, Neema delivered her baby girl," John Register, Houston Zoo hoofed stock supervisor, said in a news release. "The calf was standing on her own and nursing shortly after."

The recent birth brings the zoo's herd of Masai giraffes to 10, with six males and four females. Neema and father, Mtembei, are both 7 years old. This is Neema’s second successful birth.

The giraffe keepers who cared for Neema during her pregnancy are mulling over a name now. A zoo spokesperson had no timetable for when it will be announced.

Mama and baby are now behind the scenes as the keeper and veterinary staff members closely monitor them to ensure the "little one" grows healthy and strong.

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