California zoo welcomes 6-foot baby giraffe

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The zoo's Masai giraffe, Audrey, gave birth earlier this week to a healthy female calf.

It’s a girl!

The Santa Barbara Zoo welcomed a newborn female giraffe this week, which weighs 180 pounds and is 6-foot-1-inches tall. Audrey, a Masai giraffe, is the newborn’s mother.

The baby was slightly premature, KEYT reported, as zoo staff weren’t expecting the baby for a few more weeks.

In this Thursday, March 15, 2018 photo provided by the Santa Barbara Zoo, a baby giraffe nuzzles with her mother at their enclosure at the Santa Barbara Zoo in Santa Barbara, Calif. The zoo's Masai giraffe, Audrey, gave birth earlier in the week and the newborn is 6-feet-1 (1.8 meters), weighing in at 180 pounds (81.6 kilograms). Curator of Mammals Michele Green says it was a fast and smooth birth, and the female calf stood up and was nursing in only two hours. (Santa Barbara Zoo via AP)

Curator of Mammals Michele Green says it was a fast and smooth birth, and the female calf stood up and was nursing in only two hours  (Santa Barbara Zoo via AP)

While “this was the fastest birth Audrey has had,” it was “smooth and progressed well, and the calf stood up and was nursing in only two hours,” Michele Green, the curator of mammals at the zoo, told KEYT.

“Audrey is calm and this calf appears to be figuring things out very quickly. We couldn’t be happier for mom and baby,” she added.

The mom and baby will remain out public view for now, the Associated Press reported. But the two are slated to make their first public appearance together as early as next week, KEYT reported.

A naming contest will determine what the newborn is called. The names being considered are Amirah, Makena, Nugget and Quintin.

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