Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission: $14 Adult | $8 Child

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Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission: $14 Adult | $8 Child

View All Rates ›
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Giraffe Calf Born at Blank Park Zoo

December 12, 2016

Pictures and broadcast video giraffe calf: https://goo.gl/HWJMeQ

DES MOINES, Iowa (December 12, 2016) Officials from Iowa’s Blank Park Zoo have announced that Uzuri the giraffe has given birth to a female calf on Tuesday, December 6 at 10:40 a.m. Both the mother and calf are doing well. The calf is just over six feet tall and weighs 136 lbs. The calf has been described as very energetic. The giraffe calf will be named Lizzy in memory of Elizabeth Kruidenier, a long time zoo supporter and donor.

Zoo officials had described the pregnancy as ‘higher risk’ and are thankful that the birth so far has had a successful outcome. Uzuri gave birth and has taken care of the calf without human intervention.

“We are delighted that everything has gone well with this pregnancy and birth given Uzuri’s age,” said Mark Vukovich, CEO. “The calf will be an ambassador for giraffe in the wild that are suffering from a dramatic decline in population due to poaching and habitat loss.”

According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, there are less than 100,000 giraffe left in the wild and they have recently been declared a ‘vulnerable species’ by the IUCN Red List. Blank Park Zoo is a major contributor to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and has sent staff members to Africa for giraffe conservation and research. Every visit to Blank Park Zoo helps save giraffe in the wild.


The birth comes as Blank Park Zoo is currently constructing a new giraffe building that will feature winter viewing of the giraffe and as well as an educational space. The new facility has a planned opening of spring 2017.

Uzuri was born in 1997 and came to Blank Park Zoo in 1998. Jakobi, the father, came to Blank Park Zoo in 2006 and has sired two other giraffe, Mkuu and Sabra. Eleven calves have been born at Blank Park Zoo since the Zoo first opened a giraffe exhibit in 1985. Uzuri gave birth to a calf in 2001 that died shortly after birth.

The giraffe calf is currently not on exhibit, but pictures and videos will be available through Blank Park Zoo’s social media pages.

Pictures here: https://goo.gl/HWJMeQ

About Blank Park Zoo

Blank Park Zoo, Iowa’s WILDEST Adventure, is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. everyday this winter. (The Zoo will be closed Nov. 24, Dec. 24 & 25, & Jan. 1) Admission rates are $13 for adults, $8 for children under 12, and $11 for seniors and active military. Children two years and under and Blank Park Zoo members are free. The Zoo is located at 7401 SW 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50315. Visit the Zoo online at http://www.blankparkzoo.com. The Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) The AZA is America’s leading accrediting organization that sets rigorous, professional standards for zoos and aquariums. The AZA is building North America's largest wildlife conservation movement by engaging and inspiring the 143 million annual visitors to its member institutions and their communities to care about and take action to help protect wildlife.

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