JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has welcomed a very special baby giraffe to the Reticulated giraffe herd.
The male calf was born on May 15 to mother Naomi, making him the zoo's 42nd giraffe calf. What makes this bundle of joy so special is that he is the last calf from the herd's patriarch Duke, who passed away in December at 21-years-old.
"At the time of his death, keepers were hoping that one or two of the females in the herd were pregnant," the zoo wrote in a press release. "The birth of this youngster is a touching tribute to the high-profile bull who was so well-known by the Jacksonville community. This special calf is his 18th offspring."
At birth, the new calf weighed in at 187 pounds and is nearly 6 feet 4 inches tall. He is the 7th calf for mother Naomi.
“The arrival of our beloved Duke’s son is an especially moving way to honor his amazing legacy. We’re all looking forward to watching this little guy grow and develop”, according to Dan Maloney, Deputy Zoo Director.