Endangered giraffe born at zoo in Connecticut

Endangered giraffe born at zoo in Connecticut

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When a baby giraffe was born three days ago, it played out like a scene from "The Lion King," with the other giraffes at the zoo taking a front row seat.

"They were all hanging their heads over and watching, and they were so excited, and it's almost as if they knew when the exact moment was going to be," said Marcella Leone, the director of the LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich, Conn.

What a moment it was. Unlike most babies, this one was able to get off the ground only a few minutes after being born. She stands almost 6 feet tall, but has been growing by the hour.

"It's almost like watching one of those nature films where they have the time-lapse photography," Leone said. "She's literally growing by the day an inch or two."

The baby giraffe and her mother, Petal, are endangered Rothschild giraffes. Less than 670 are left in the world.

The LEO Zoological Conservation Center, a private refuge for threatened animals, has two other pregnant giraffes on premises. Leone said that breeding these rare species is a dream come true.

"Being able to have these animals off exhibit and give them huge spaces and a lot of peace, they're breeding and they're going to make a difference in the world," she said.

Leone said the next order of business is to let the public pick a name for the new baby.

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