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VIDEO: A rare, endangered baby giraffe born at a Conn. conservation center

Watch the baby Rothschild giraffe take its first tiny steps on wobbly legs.

Rothschild giraffeEnlarge
Rothschild giraffes are listed as an endangered subspecies. Estimates say there are only 670 left in the wild. (Sean Gallup/AFP/Getty Images)

The giraffes who call a Connecticut conservation center home have a new bundle of joy to care for. 

A rare, endangered female calf was born Friday morning to a 6-year-old Rothschild giraffe named Petal at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center, reports Greenwich Time.

The new baby was born healthy and took its first few wobbly steps just 30 minutes after entering the world.

Petal cleaned off her new calf with a few licks of her tongue and nudged the newborn to her feet.

Zoological staff were on hand for the birth but Marcella Leone, founder and director of the center, said second-time mother Petal didn't need any help.

"Mom did it on her own," Leone told Greenwich Time.

"She's a great mom. She was very proud, trying to show off her newborn."

Rothschild giraffes are listed as an endangered subspecies

They were first named and described by Lord Walter Rothschild, a British zoologist, after an expedition to East Africa in the early 1900s.

According to a Kenyan giraffe research center, only 670 Rothschild giraffes are left in the wild.

The giraffes live across Kenya and Uganda and are suffering from poaching and loss of habitat.

Rothschild giraffes are easy to spot because of their distinctive markings. Usually soft in color, the giraffes have no markings below their knees as if they were wearing cream colored knee socks.

Petal's new baby calf was nearly 6 feet tall when she was born and fully grown could reach 18 feet tall.

The conservation center staff already launched a contest to meet the new giraffe and chose the new tot's name. 

 

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/wildlife-news/130324/video-rare-endangered-baby-giraffe-born-at-conn-conservat