UNITED STATES

A rare baby giraffe was born without spots, a Tennessee zoo says

Aug 23, 2023, 6:30 AM

There’s a brand new spotless superstar on the scene at a Tennessee zoo. She doesn’t have a name...

There’s a brand new spotless superstar on the scene at a Tennessee zoo. She doesn’t have a name yet, but she’s already made a big splash among her herd – she’s a giraffe without patches. (Courtesy, Brights Zoo)

(Courtesy, Brights Zoo)

She doesn’t have a name yet, but she’s already made a big splash among her herd – she’s a giraffe without patches.

The 6-foot wonder was born sans spots on July 31 at Bright’s Zoo, a privately owned facility in Limestone, and made her public debut this month. The calf is a reticulated giraffe, one of four giraffe species.

The zoo said she might be the “only solid-colored reticulated giraffe living anywhere on the planet.” (The last spotless giraffe in captivity was likely a calf born at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo in 1972, CBS News reported.)

The word “reticulated” refers to the giraffe’s network of polygonal brown spots, broken up by veins of creamy off-white, according to the Denver Zoo. The spots function primarily as camouflage in the savannas of northern Kenya where they live and graze.

And underneath each spot is a “sophisticated system of blood vessels,” according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on sustaining and growing the wild giraffe population across Africa. It takes a large network of vessels and 25-pound hearts to keep the world’s tallest land mammal on its hooves.

Zoo founder Tony Bright said that the weeks-old calf is casting a “much-needed spotlight” on giraffe conservation. Around 16,000 reticulated giraffes remain in the wild, according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, a 50% decline in the last three-and-a-half decades from when there were around 36,000 wild reticulated giraffes living on the continent.

The new calf joins a growing herd at Bright’s, following another baby giraffe that was born just weeks before. The zoo says she’s “thriving” under the supervision of her attentive mother and its human staff. Now she just needs a name, which fans can vote on before the winning moniker is announced on Labor Day.

Among the four choices are Kipekee, which means “unique” in Swahili – a fitting name for an exceedingly rare baby.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

United States

FILE: Seen from an aerial view, people pass through razor wire after crossing the U.S.-Mexico borde...

ACACIA CORONADO

Judge blocks Texas law allowing police power to arrest illegal migrants

The ruling is a victory for the Justice Department. It argued that the law signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott last year was unconstitutional.

3 days ago

president biden shown, he and former president trump are visiting the border in texas...

SEUNG MIN KIM, JILL COLVIN and COLLEEN LONG Associated Press

Biden and Trump touch down in Texas, highlighting immigration as a major election issue

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump arrived Thursday in Texas, for dueling trips to the U.S.-Mexico border in a sign of how central immigration has become to the 2024 election

3 days ago

texas wildfires...

Associated Press

Wildfire grows into one of largest in Texas history as flames menace multiple small towns

Known as the Smokehouse Creek Fire, the largest blaze expanded to more than 1,300 square miles and jumped into parts of neighboring Oklahoma.

4 days ago

execution chamber in idaho prison...

Associated Press

Idaho halts execution by lethal injection after 8 failed attempts to insert IV line

Thomas Eugene Creech Creech, one of the longest-serving death row inmates in the U.S., was wheeled into the execution chamber at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution on a gurney at 10 a.m.

4 days ago

DEARBORN, MICHIGAN - FEBRUARY 27: A sign for Republican presidential candidate former President Don...

Marshall Cohen, CNN

Illinois judge removes Trump from ballot, cites ‘insurrectionist ban’

Wednesday’s unexpected decision comes as a similar challenge from Colorado is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

4 days ago

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) talks to reporters following the weekly Senate Republ...

MICHAEL TACKETT Associated Press

McConnell to step down as Senate Republican leader in November

In a copy of his prepared remarks, McConnell stressed the importance of knowing when to move on. "to life's next chapter."

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

A rare baby giraffe was born without spots, a Tennessee zoo says