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San Diego Zoo Welcomes Baby Giraffe

A female Masai giraffe born at the San Diego Zoo is pictured, May 19, 2015.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
A female Masai giraffe born at the San Diego Zoo is pictured, May 19, 2015.

A female Masai giraffe born at the San Diego Zoo on Tuesday is healthy and interacting with other members of her herd, zookeepers said Wednesday.

The unnamed giraffe had her first veterinary exam, in which zoo staff confirmed her sex, drew blood to ensure she is nursing properly, and checked her eyes, ears, tongue and throat.

She stands 6 feet tall and weighs 136 pounds, and could add a foot or more in height and weigh up to 500 pounds by the time she's 6 months old.

Animal care staff said she's strong and healthy, though she's still getting used to her long, wobbly legs.

She checked out the animal nursery with her mother, Bahati, and interacted with other giraffes from behind a protective fence.

The population of Masai giraffes has declined from 140,000 or so in the 1990s to less than 80,000 today because of habitat loss and competition for resources. The natives of Kenya and Tanzania are the world's tallest land animals.