A Tennessee zoo has welcomed a rare spotless giraffe to its family.
On July 31, Brights Zoo in Limestone announced the birth of a baby giraffe — born a solid brown color.
“Giraffe experts believe she is the only solid-colored reticulated giraffe living anywhere on the planet,” Fox 8 WJW in Cleveland, Ohio, reported according to a Brights Zoo press release.
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The last recorded birth of a spotless reticulated giraffe was reportedly in 1972 at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, based on archival images.
“From day one we’ve been in contact with zoo professionals all over the country,” Fox 8 shared based on a statement offered by David Bright, director of Brights Zoo.
“And especially the old timers, that have been around for a long time, ‘Hey, have you seen this? What’s your thoughts?’ And nobody’s seen it.”
As soon as the baby giraffe was born, the Brights Zoo team immediately knew she was different.
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Spots are seen at birth and since she did not have any at her delivery, the staff decided to have blood work done on the calf, Fox 8 wrote.
“Her numbers compared identically to the giraffe that was born two weeks prior to that, so we felt good. Each day she gets stronger,” the news station shared on behalf of Tony Bright, founder of Brights Zoo.
While she may look different from the other giraffes, she is not acting any different from the zoo’s other calves — she will pick up and spit out rocks like many other giraffe calves have done before, Bright said.
She has already reached six feet tall and is “thriving” under the care of her mother, zoo officials reported stated.
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The coverage surrounding the birth of the rare baby giraffe will be helpful in spreading awareness of giraffe conservation, Fox 8 noted.
“The international coverage of our patternless baby giraffe has created a much-needed spotlight on giraffe conservation. Wild populations are silently slipping into extinction, with 40% of the wild giraffe population lost in just the last 3 decades,” the station continued, sharing Tony Bright’s statement.
The reticulated giraffe population has been under supervision since being added to the IUCN Red list and being listed as “endangered” in 2018, according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.
Due to the calf’s lack of spots, it is better that she was born in captivity and not in the wild, Fox 8 reported.
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“In the wild, they use those spots for camouflage… By being solid colored, she may not be able to hide quite as well,” Fox 8 shared based on David Bright’s comment.
Brights Zoo is asking for the public’s help in naming the giraffe, according to the zoo’s Facebook page.
“[The Bright family has] looked at hundreds and thousands of names, their meanings,” David Bright said in the statement, according to Fox 8.
The four names that the zoo is considering are: Kipekee meaning “unique,” Firyali meaning “unusual or extraordinary,” Shakiri meaning “she is most beautiful” and Jamella meaning “one of great beauty.”
The Facebook page shared the names early Tuesday morning and fans of the calf will have until Labor Day, Sept. 4, to cast their votes.
Fox News Digital reached out Brights Zoo for comment.
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