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The birth of a Masai giraffe announced at the Seneca Park Zoo

Kipenzi, a giraffe at the Seneca Park Zoo who is being treated for cancer, with her new calf, who was born early Wed. morning, on Dec. 6, 2024.
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Kipenzi, a giraffe at the Seneca Park Zoo who is being treated for cancer, with her new calf, who was born early Wed. morning, on Dec. 6, 2024.

Kipenzi, one of the Seneca Park Zoo’s female Masai giraffes, has a new baby.

Zoo officials and County Executive Adam Bello announced that Kipenzi gave birth early Wednesday morning to a calf. The gender of the calf is not yet known.

This is the third Masai giraffe born at the local zoo and is the offspring of Kipenzi and Parker who died earlier this year.

Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Chris McKinney said that the calf appears to be nursing well, is walking normally and is energetic. He added that it is “important to remember that these first weeks are a delicate time for the calf, so we will be monitoring baby and mom closely.”

It was announced earlier this year that Kipenzi has a cancerous growth on her jaw. Officials said that Kipenzi continues to eat well, behave normally, and allows animal care teams to treat the area of the tumor.

Zoo officials also said that Kipenzi and Parker were a very valuable genetic pair, making their offspring important not only to the Seneca Park Zoo, but to other accredited zoos as well.

The local zoo’s other female Masai giraffe, Iggy, is also pregnant and in her delivery window.

The Animals of the Savanna building will be closed for a few days so that Kipenzi and her calf may continue to bond.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.