CALDWELL ZOO | NEW BABY
If Caldwell Zoo visitors are very lucky, they might just catch the zoo's newest 7-foot tall baby zooming around the Giraffe House.
Lulu, born just two weeks ago, is seven feet worth of legs, neck and adorable clumsiness. The inquisitive calf loves seeing new people walk by and just might peek her head out to say "hi."
Lulu is a reticulated giraffe, like her mother Cricket, who is about 17 feet taller and 2,000 pounds heavier than a typical giraffe. Lulu is her second calf, and the first born at the zoo in four years.
"Lulu is very spunky, adorable and lovey," giraffe keeper Kristen Jolly said. "She's very energetic and curious."
Jolly said Lulu was up and trying to run in just 45 minutes after being born.
Mammal Curator Scotty Stainback said it was a sight to see. Cricket was trying to groom newborn Lulu, who was already raring to go.
"They're just so awkward because their legs are so long and their neck is so long, and then mom's sitting there licking her," Jolly said.
Due to mom's attentive grooming, the fur on Lulu's little horns looks more like a pony tail sticking straight up.
"She loves to run under bellies and between their legs," Stainback said.
Eventually Lulu will join her very tall friends outside at the zoo's giraffe exhibit, where guests can pet and feed the giraffes.
Giraffes, known affectionately on the internet as "longbois" or "tall puppies" are inquisitive and will often peek over their enclosure to see what guests are doing.
When Lulu is being too active for mom, Cricket will peak her head out of the back of the enclosure as if to tell her to come lay down.
The giraffe house also has height marks on the wall so visitors can watch Lulu grow.
Cricket is about 8 years old and dad, Marjani, is six. Jolly said the giraffes have a lifespan of more than 20 years.
Someday Lulu will be able to reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, thanks to all the practice she's getting zooming around her enclosure.
For more information, visit CaldwellZoo.org