KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Today is World Giraffe Day, and Zoo Knoxville is anxiously awaiting the birth of their first giraffe birth in 17 years.
A release from Zoo Knoxville says that Frances, a three-year-old giraffe, is showing signs that she is in her final stages of pregnancy.
Frances’ team of caretakers are preparing for the arrival of the baby, who they expect will be born in the next few weeks.
“We are very excited to share this news with our community,” says Phil Colclough, Director of Animal Care, Conservation and Education. “We are hopeful that we will welcome a healthy baby, who will be an important ambassador for giraffe conservation. With the serious threats giraffes in Africa are facing, this calf is critical to maintaining a healthy and viable population for the future.”
Frances has been at the zoo since 2016 and was paired with Jumbe, a 16-year-old male giraffe.
They were paired as part of the Giraffe Species Survival Plan, which is a collaboration of zoos that work to save the animals from extinction.
Giraffes are critically endangered, with less than 100,000 left in Africa.