Gulf Breeze Zoo welcomes new arrival

giraffe

Zookeeper Mallory Knoblock feeds Gideon, the Gulf Breeze Zoo’s latest addition.

Gabby and Geronimo, two reticulated giraffes who reside at the Gulf Breeze Zoo, welcomed their second baby, Gideon, on March 27.

The new arrival, who is already more than 6 feet tall, joins his 16-month-old brother, Gamba.

Zookeepers had been monitoring 13-year-old Gabby closely for several months before she gave birth, and reported that both mom and baby are healthy.

Giraffe are the tallest land mammals with males reaching up to 18 feet tall, according to a release from the zoo. Giraffe generally give birth to one calf after a gestation of around 15 months. Overall, giraffe populations are considered stable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature; however large portions of their natural habitats have been destroyed. The Reticulated African giraffe population has been estimated to range from only 4,500 to 4,700 in the wild.

Big baby Gideon, his mother and the whole giraffe family are available for viewing daily, weather depending, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Gulf Coast Area’s award-winning Gulf Breeze Zoo is home to more than 800 native and exotic animals. The zoo offers many hands-on animal encounters and kids’ activities perfect for field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties.

The zoo opens at 9 a.m. daily and is located just off Highway 98. Admission is $15.95 for adults, $11.95 for children. Military, senior and group rates are available. Call 850-932-2229, or visit www.GBZoo.com for information.

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