Denver Zoo Giraffe Drops a Surprise Baby While Everyone Waits for Live Stream Giraffe Birth in New York

Dobby the reticulated giraffe weighed 73 lbs. and was 5-ft. tall at birth

While the world waits for April the New York zoo giraffe to give birth on her controversial live stream, Kipele is pulling a Beyoncé and dropping surprises overnight.

On Feb. 28, the Denver Zoo giraffe gave birth to an unexpected baby boy, later named Dobby, without fanfare in the early morning.

The new arrival is a reticulated giraffe who measures 5-ft. tall and weighs 73 lbs., according to the Denver Post. As is common with giraffe calfs, Dobby was up and walking just a few minutes after he was born. Keepers say both he and Kipele are doing well.


“Staff was monitoring Kipele overnight when she went into labor,” said Brian Aucone, Denver Zoo senior vice president for Animal Care and Conservation, in a press statement. “Although the birth went well, the calf was not initially nursing. Staff fed the infant and provided critical care in his first hours of life to get him back on track. Now he’s nursing and we are feeling good about his health.”


The staff had to act fast to welcome Dobby into the world, since they weren’t expecting the baby giraffe. Keepers didn’t know Kipele was pregnant, and didn’t have reason to expect she was, since the 23-year-old new mom is the oldest giraffe at the zoo and is also on birth control.


“Dobby may not have been a planned birth, but now that he’s here, we’re excited to have him and look forward to him engaging with our guests,” Aucone added.

For now, mom and son are getting time to bond in private, out of public view in the zoo’s giraffe house.

Dobby is the first giraffe born at the zoo since 2010. Kipele carried the bundle of joy for 15 months and will spend the next six nursing her son. Dobby joins the zoo’s four other reticulated giraffes, which include his mom and his dad, Dikembe.

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