GLEN ROSE (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s just August and already the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center has announced the birth of its 4th giraffe calf this year.
The yet-to-be-named male calf was born on July 28. While the calf has been allowed to bond with its mother and hasn’t been weighed or measured, in general new calves stand about 6-feet tall and on average weigh about 120 pounds.
Given that animals at Fossil Rim aren’t cordoned off and roam free in wide-open spaces, the public has been able to view the new male calf since its birth.
With the birth of this calf, Fossil Rim now has a total of 11 giraffes at the property. All four of the 2017 giraffe calves were sired by an eight-year-old bull named Mosi, who arrived at Fossil Rim in 2014.
“Genetically, he was the best male to breed with our adult females,” explained Fossil Rim giraffe caretaker Molly Shea. “It’s been awhile since we’ve had such a young herd and it has been an interesting – and cute – experience to watch them.”
The new mother of the calf born last month is a nine-year-old named Jan Bussey, a giraffe formerly named Kenya at the Dallas Zoo. This is Jan Bussey’s first calf. The female has been at Fossil Rim since 2016 and was renamed to honor the wildlife centers longtime employee and volunteer, Jan Bussey, who passed away.
Jan Bussey is apparently taking her new responsibility very seriously. “She’s a very observant mom in how she’s keeping a close eye on her calf, as well as their busy surroundings,” said Shea. “Since Jan Bussey, and now her calf, are still relatively new to Fossil Rim, it will be interesting to watch them grow into the herd together.”
Most of the time the animal caregiver is the one who names newly born animals, but Fossil Rim’s marketing director, Warren Lewis, said they haven’t ruled out holding some type of contest to let the public choose the name for the new male calf.
Right now Lewis says their focus is on worldwide conservation and increasing the overall giraffe population. “Our whole focus is to make sure we do everything we can to keep the numbers up, for not only the giraffe but other species as well.”
All of the giraffes at Fossil Rim live on a 280-acre Game Preserve pasture, that is home to a number of other animals including zebras and European red deer. In all, the non-profit wildlife center has more than 1,000 animals from more than 50 species.
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