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It's Official: Toledo Zoo Welcomes Baby Giraffe To The Family

Giraffes have awesome eyelashes. I mean, just look at them. 

Feed me 🍀🌿☘💚💚 #southafrica🇿🇦 #capetown #giraffe #safari #cute #animals

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It might be one of the reasons why people find the animals so gosh darn cute. I mean, it has to be. The long-gangly creatures that are basically different-patterned zebras with weird semi-horns and elongated necks shouldn't technically be adorable, but they are.

Which is probably why everyone is so obsessed with April the Giraffe, who's currently waiting to deliver her baby at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY. While that's going on, Elli the Masai Giraffe just had a long-necked bundle of joy herself.

The 5'7, 130lb Kipenzi was born in the Toledo Zoo and she's a happy and healthy giraffe.

Her name means "beloved" or "precious one" in Swahili. And judging from all the hype surrounding the little girl, it's a pretty spot-on name. She's Elli's fifth child, including a still birth in 2008.

The Toledo Zoo doesn't livestream animal births, due to the fact "that a lot of different things can go wrong in birth."

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"You’re going to have to cut your live feed off, everyone is going to be concerned, and you’ll have to intervene. That’s another layer of responsibility and challenge that we don’t need," said Terry Webb, director of animal programs.
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Shayla Bell Moriarty, Director of Communications for the Zoo, said that the hullabaloo can detract from the bigger picture and that's that giraffe populations are in decline, all nine subspecies of them. The wild population of the Masai Giraffe, for example, has declined by nearly 40 percent in the past 30 years.

Giraffe births in particular look pretty brutal.

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They deliver their young standing up, meaning that the baby falls out of the amniotic sack, dropping 6 feet to the ground. This gives the sack a chance to burst open. The baby needs to learn how to walk in a few hours to get away from its place of birth or the smell of blood will attract predators.

"It sounds horrible, but it bursts the birth sac and gives that first impact to the kid to take a breath and get oriented. They have to be on their feet within an hour to follow the female and get away from that birth site, away from the odor of the placenta and fluids that attract predators," Webb said.

So, if you can't wait for April the Giraffe's kid to get here, look at these screen gabs of this adorable booger.

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That little neck fold!

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My heart.

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