Behind the Exhibit: Tulsa Zoo preparing for baby giraffe
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) —
The giraffes are some of the more curious animals at the Tulsa Zoo.
"Hikaya and Lexi are both Nubian giraffe, and Pilie here is a reticulated giraffe," said Tulsa Zoo African Hoofstock Zookeeper Jorel Martin.
These days, Lexi is the star of the show. She is so pregnant that you can see the calf moving around through her skin.
"We are in the window now, so we could have a calf today," Martin said. "It could also be anytime between now and the beginning of August. Giraffes have a very large window of when they can give birth."
Zookeepers have been baby-proofing the exhibit as well, scaling it down for a smaller animal rather than the towering behemoths that usually live there.
"The baby, male or female, will be in here with momma while it gets a little bit bigger," Martin said. "Once it's large enough to go back with the herd, it will go in with everyone else."
Inside the exhibit, it's mostly flat, eliminating any trip hazards for the animals.
The feeders are only filled once a day. In the morning, they come out, lower them on pulleys and then raise them back up. There's also one that's like a puzzle box that the giraffes have to put their tongues in and dig the food out. It gives them a little extra something to do.
Topping it off is the brand new Osage Casino Giraffe Barn, which will be completed just in time for Lexi's pregnancy.
"We actually more than doubled the size of the existing barn by adding this new section," Martin said. "Luckily, we have all this barn space ready to go and we've already baby-proofed it for her."
Lexi's calf is sure to be a hit, and even if she's inside, you'll still be able to see her through a new giant window on the side of the barn.