Abilene Zoo's Asha gives birth to first of three giraffe calves expected this year


ABILENE, Texas - The Abilene Zoo is welcoming the first of its three expected giraffe calves this year.

The zoo's giraffe, Asha, gave birth to the baby boy in an off-exhibit yard just before 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

He was measured at 6' 3" and weighed in at 159 pounds.

He was born with an umbilical hernia and will likely need corrective surgery in the next few weeks.

While he will not immediately be put on exhibit, zoo staff says you can expect several giraffe to stay on exhibit at any given time.

This brings the number of giraffe at the Abilene Zoo to eight.

Officials say Asha and her calf "are bonding well and appear to be settling into their new routine with ease."

Two other giraffe, Sunny and Jamie, are expected to give birth this fall or winter. All of the calves are fathered by 12-year-old Mesi.

This is the second male giraffe to be born at the Abilene Zoo in just over a year after Punk gave birth to a male, Mananasi, in September 2016.