Prague Zoo has a new baby giraffe

The young female is temporarily called Modelka because she likes to pose

There have been several new arrivals at Prague Zoo so far this year, and the largest is a new baby giraffe. She was born Jan. 25 and is already facing the public in the African House (Africký dům) in the upper part of the zoo.

A veterinary inspection confirmed that the 83rd young of this species born in Prague Zoo is a female. Her mother is Faraa from Switzerland and father is Johan, born in the Netherlands.

According to breeders, the small giraffe is doing well and was able to associate her with the rest of the herd on Tuesday morning. The mother, of course, escorted the baby to the exposition, and she was closely watched over by the group.

The newborn female snapped into action very quickly and, according to how willingly she posed for photographers, she received the working nickname Modelka from the breeders. But that is just temporary.

“We know now how she will be named. Breeders choose names for the giraffe according to the established rule: they look into the calendar a week before and a week after the birth of the small giraffe, and from the names that are offered they chose the one they like most,” Prague Zoo director Miroslav Bobek said. "We will only reveal this name to the visitors on Feb. 17," he added. A festive baptism ceremony will be held on that date.

Other births that have already occurred at the zoo include two West African siatungs, a type of small and colorful swamp-dwelling antelope, a Chacoan mara, a type of rodent from South America, a lechwe, which is another type of antelope, and an olive-brown lory, a type of parrot. The first birth of the year was an Indian takin.

The zoo this year will be doing more to support endangered species. From every entry fee, Kč 3 will go to projects, as opposed to the previous Kč 2.

Prague Zoo in 2018 saw some 1.4 million visitors, the third highest level ever. Still, this was an unexpected success due to the high summer temperatures and the absence of the Stromovka footbridge, which collapsed at the end of 2017.

The zoo was once again rated fifth-best in the world by the travel website TripAdvisor, based on user reviews. It had been ranked as high as fourth in 2015.

The zoo was also successful in breeding last year with 1,340 babies from 219 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.

Prague Zoo currently covers 58 hectares with 50 hectares used for exhibits. It has over 4,700 animals from 681 species, including 144 species listed as threatened. The zoo has 12 pavilions and over 150 exhibits. The zoo opened on Sept. 28, 1931.

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