Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s bouncing baby boy giraffe ready for visitors

A baby giraffe at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo may help drive up attendance, which has been slow in recent weeks as the city dealt with the Waldo Canyon fire.

“When there is a baby, and so much media, the buzz makes us at the top of the mind — people are interested in seeing the babies,” said Katie Borremans, zoo spokeswoman.

The “little baby” weighed in at 148 pounds and is 5 feet 4 inches tall. He was born at 1 a.m. July 10.

Veterinary staff performed a neonatal exam Wednesday morning, and reported he is healthy, active and nursing, which provides essential antibodies to help build his immune system.

Staff also collected the very first giraffe calf hoof print for a special commemorative giveaway. He is ready for visitors and zoo guests can now see him inside the giraffe barn. Zookeepers plan to let him outside for the first time later this week.

The baby giraffe was born to mom Uzuri, pronounced You-ZUR-ee, her fourth birth, and the zoo’s bull giraffe, Mawimbi.  In keeping with tradition, he won’t be named for 30 days. The last baby giraffe was named after long-time zoo donor and volunteer Betty Francis.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s only mountain zoo, attracts about 500,000 visitors a year. It is home to the world’s most prolific captive reticulated giraffe herd, with 195 births at the zoo since 1954.

Visitors to the zoo between 9 and 11:45 a.m. will have a chance to win a private meeting with the baby giraffe and the first 50 visitors each day from July 13 to July 29 will receive a copy of the baby’s first hoof print.