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Born just shy of 6 feet tall, this zoo baby grows strong drinking cow's milk.

Giraffe Calf

Posted April 25, 2013. Photo by Natalie Sommer/ABQ BioPark.

What’s big-eyed, lanky and totally adorable? A female giraffe calf! In time for all the spring fun at the Zoo, our newest addition was born on April 20. Because she was unable to bond with mother June, this baby girl will be hand-raised by zookeepers (and she wouldn’t mind a few adoptive parents). Guests can visit her in the yard adjacent to June, sister Amani, Camilla and father Buccaneer.

The reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) is one of nine subspecies of giraffe. There are fewer than 80,000 giraffes left in the wild, and they are disappearing faster than most people realize. Since 1999, their population has decreased by 45% due to habitat loss and poaching for bushmeat.

Giraffes remain a favorite at zoos, with their giant purple tongues, long necks and beautifully patterned coats. Albuquerque’s newest giraffe will help bring awareness to worldwide conservation efforts and promote wildlife education. Zookeepers are brainstorming names that will fit her, and Facebook fans will be able to vote for their favorite in the coming weeks.

What do you think the female calf’s name should be? Join the conversation on Facebook.

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