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Abilene Zoo staff prepare expecting giraffe for prenatal care

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ABILENE, Texas - The Abilene Zoo is busy getting ready for the newest member of its giraffe herd, by getting the mother used to the idea of prenatal care.

On its official Facebook page the Abilene zoo posted a video of a giraffe keeper training "Punk", the pregnant 16-year-old reticulated giraffe, to be comfortable with ultrasounds.

The trainer used a target stick to get the giraffe used to the feeling of the ultrasound wand and the gel used in the process. Soon enough they'll be using the real machine to check on the calf.

The zoo staff use positive reinforcement, like food, to ensure that they can monitor the mother and calf and keep them both healthy.

Punk's due date is expected to be sometime between July and November. Giraffe gestation periods usually range between 13 to 15 months.

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