SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A giraffe was born Monday shortly after 2 p.m. at Dickerson Park Zoo. The mother, Cheka, is 19 years old; this is her ninth calf. Cheka gave birth in the zoo’s exhibit yard while curious zoo guests and watchful zoo staff observed.
The calf is yet unnamed, pending gender confirmation by the zoo’s veterinarian. A photo album of the calf’s first hour will be posted on Dickerson Park Zoo’s Facebook page.
Cheka was born at San Diego Zoo Safari Park in 1993. She came to Dickerson Park Zoo in May 1995.
This is the first calf sired by Peperuka, the zoo’s breeding male. Peperuka came to Dickerson Park Zoo in 2011.
A giraffe’s gestation is between 14 and 15 months.
Guests can view Cheka and her calf in the exhibit yard along with giraffes Gidget, Kamilli, Emma and Peperuka. The zoo will transfer 14-month-old juvenile male, S.J., to another zoo this month.
Dickerson Park Zoo is open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through the end of September; beginning Oct. 1, zoo hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., weather permitting. For more information, visit the zoo online, or call the zoo’s information hotline, (417) 864-1800.