A rare giraffe was born at Tyler's Caldwell Zoo in June of 2020, and zookeepers said she was up and walking within thirty minutes of her birth.  She's healthy and happy now, but there was a moment when they thought they might have lost her.

The Caldwell Zoo really had to kick it into gear and make some quick decisions in the days after Xena June was born last year, and their knowledge and skills probably saved her life.

Jason Eisenberg | African Outlook at Caldwell Zoo
Jason Eisenberg | African Outlook at Caldwell Zoo

Zookeepers said Xena June's mom went into labor one afternoon around 2:15 pm in June last year, and by 2:45 pm the little wobbly 100-pound baby was attempting to stand up.  She was walking a short time later and the beginner steps weren't pretty, but if you're born with all legs there's a lot to keep track of and everyone understands.

Can you imagine what life would be like if our own kids took off that fast, within a few minutes of being born?  I am extra thankful now for the crawling stage because at least it gives us a little time to realize what we're in for.  Thirty-minute labor would be nice though.

The zoo posted the story of Xena's birth on their website, and it wasn't all smooth sailing.  Seventeen hours after she was born biologists at the zoo discovered Xena June likely didn't have enough immunity to survive, and her antibody levels were low.  They said she wouldn't nurse and she was lethargic, and they had to do an emergency plasma transfusion that they received from a zoo in Ohio and that might have saved her life.  It was touch and go for several days, and eventually, the Caldwell Zoo made the decision to take Amali from her mom for bottle feeding.  That turned out to be a success.

Now, Xena June is one year old, she's grown at least a foot, and she trots around the zoo's habitat with her mom, Nyla.

And she's ready for visitors!  You can see Xena June in her habitat at the zoo Monday - Friday between 10:30 am and 3:30 pm.

Caldwell Zoo Baby Giraffe

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