Hope, the second Topeka Zoo giraffe expecting a calf this summer, went into active labor Monday night and gave birth at 12:14 a.m.
Viewers on the zoo’s live stream of Hope’s enclosure began to see one tiny hoof appear around 11 p.m. Just before midnight a second hoof was also visible.
“Come on Hope. Let’s have a baby!” the zoo posted.
About 15 minutes after the second hoof appeared, Hope gave birth. The calf lay in the hay at the edge of the pen and could be seen moving it’s head around as hope licked it’s face.
The calf’s gender wasn’t immediately known.
At midnight more than 1,300 people were watching the live stream. A small crowd of zoo staff and KTWU photographers gathered around outside.
Before the birth, Hope could be seen walking inside the indoor pen. The calf’s legs were visible.
“That little hoof looks so cute moving,” viewer Debbie Wheeler posted.
Zookeepers stood outside the pen monitoring Hope but didn’t enter, electing to keep their distance from Hope.
About 11:40, the Topeka Zoo posted on its Facebook page, “As far as we can tell, only 1 hoof out right now. We are currently weighing the options of trying to help the other hoof out.”
By midnight both hooves were visible, but it wasn’t intermediately known if they were front or back hooves.
Hope, 8, is the second giraffe to give birth at the zoo this summer.
Abi gave birth July 11 to a healthy male calf named Konza.
Both giraffes were pregnant for about 15 months.