Rhode Island zoo welcomes newborn giraffe

Dec. 29, 2008 at 1:25 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Officials at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, R.I., say the site's Masai giraffe, Sukari, has given birth.

Zoo spokeswoman Jan Mariani said, as per Association of Zoos and Aquariums regulations, the baby giraffe will remain with Sukari for a year before being relocated to another zoo, The (Providence, R.I.) Journal said Monday.

The eventual parent-child division is intended to ensure the limited Masai giraffe population in North America remains genetically diverse and healthy.

"Our baby giraffes are not our own," zoo press aide Ben Sibielski said of the regulations.

Due to those rules, the calf wasn't named after being born Dec. 23.

Mariani told the Journal there are 80 of the rare giraffes living in North American sites.

The newspaper said there has been speculation at the Providence tourist site that Amber the giraffe may be pregnant.

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