BROOKFIELD, Ill. — A new baby giraffe will be making her public debut at the Brookfield Zoo on Friday.
Guests will be able to come to see three-week-old Kinda, a brand new baby reticulated giraffe.
Kinda, which means beautiful in Swahili, was born on Aug. 19. She was born 5 foot 10 inches tall and weighed 129 pounds.
“She’s touching and tasting everything with her nose and her tongue, which is kind of normal baby behavior, you know, everything goes in their mouth,” Joan Daniels, senior curator at the zoo, said.
For the first three weeks, Kinda has only been seen by staff at the zoo and spent time indoors with her mother, Arnieta, a 16-year-old giraffe who struggled with past pregnancies
“Unfortunately she lost her first two pregnancies to miscarriage,” Daniels said.
Once Arnieta became pregnant again, veterinarian endocrinologists at both the Brookfield and Omaha zoos, worked together to help the giraffe carry her baby the full 15-month term.
“We started her on a hormone supplement,” Daniels said. “It was progesterone liquid rolled up in lettuce leaves.”
It’s work that is critically important to sustaining the endangered species.
“A lot of people don’t realize giraffes are very endangered now in their home in Africa,” Daniels said.
Kinda is still discovering the world around her and will soon be able to run around, snack and socialize with the other giraffes at the zoo.
For the first week, Kinda will be indoors only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Eventually, she will be brought into the outdoor habitat to meet the rest of the herd.