LIMESTONE, Tenn. (WJHL) — One of the world’s rarest giraffes was born at Brights Zoo in July, zoo ownership reports.
Brights Zoo in Limestone welcomed the solid brown giraffe on July 31.
“Giraffe experts believe she is the only solid-colored reticulated giraffe living anywhere on the planet,” Brights Zoo stated in a release.
Zoo leaders say there are records of another giraffe without spots being born in Japan in the 1970s.
“From day one we’ve been in contact with zoo professionals all over the country,” said Brights Zoo director, David Bright. “And especially the old timers, that have been around for a long time, ‘Hey, have you seen this? What’s your thoughts?’ And nobody’s seen it.”
Brights Zoo’s founder, Tony Bright, said he knew she was different when she was born. She was born with no spots which Bright said, you can see right after giraffes are born.
He said they decided to check her blood work.
“Her numbers compared identically to the giraffe that was born two weeks prior to that, so we felt good. Each day she gets stronger,” said Tony Bright.
Brights Zoo has nine giraffes.
The baby giraffe is six feet tall and is “thriving” under her mother’s care, the zoo said. Tony Bright said she is acting like many other giraffe calves they’ve had, eating rocks.
“She will get down and pick up two or three rocks,” said Tony Bright. “She spits them out.”
David Bright said this new giraffe will help with conservation, showing what could happen in the wild.
“It’s better she’s born in captivity,” said David Bright. “In the wild, they use those spots for camouflage… By being solid colored, she may not be able to hide quite as well.”
Bright’s Zoo is asking for the public’s help in narrowing down the four chosen names for the unnamed baby giraffe.
- Kipekee – Unique
- Firyali – Unusual or Extradonary
- Shakiri – She is most beautiful
- Jamella – One of great beauty
David Bright said the names will be up on the zoo’s Facebook page Tuesday. Voting will last for two weeks.
“[The Bright family has] looked at hundreds and thousands of names, their meanings,” said David Bright. “Those four are the four the family are all really attached to. So if she’s named one of those four, we’re very happy.”
“The international coverage of our patternless baby giraffe has created a much-needed spotlight on giraffe conservation. Wild populations are silently slipping into extinction, with 40% of the wild giraffe population lost in just the last 3 decades,” said Tony Bright.
Brights Zoo shortens its hours after Labor Day. They close for the season on Dec. 1. For more information on Bright’s Zoo, click here.