BROOKFIELD, Ill. — On World Giraffe Day, Brookfield Zoo announced one of its giraffes is expecting a calf.
Arnieta, the 16-year-old mother, is due to deliver sometime between mid-July and late August.
She was paired with Ato — who arrived at the zoo in 2017 when he was nearly two years old.
“Since learning of her pregnancy last summer, Zoo veterinarians and animal care staff have been making every effort to help ensure Arnieta is successful in maintaining this pregnancy and delivering a healthy calf,” Brookfield Zoo stated in a press release.
Arnieta has been fed a regimen of liquid synthetic progesterone that was mixed in beet pulp and prophylactic antibiotics due to two previous miscarriages in 2020 and 2021 — both in the first trimester.
Brookfield Zoo worked with a team at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium to support her pregnancy, which was learned in July 2022.
“Our team at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is honored to have collaborated with Brookfield Zoo on this special partnership to support Arnieta in a healthy pregnancy,” said Dr. Stoops. “It’s through collaborations like these that veterinary teams from across the country are able to learn, share, and advance zoo science together, and we’re cheering for Arnieta and her calf from here in Omaha.”
It is typical for female giraffes to temporarily leave their herd before giving birth for the safety and privacy of the mother and calf, the zoo said. As her due date approaches, Arnieta will be separated from the other giraffes and provided with a private birthing stall and outdoor area.
Brookfield Zoo has been home to giraffes since opening its doors in 1934.
On Saturday, the zoo’s newest giraffe, Asha, make her debut.