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Zoo Miami welcomes baby giraffe

Princess Buttercup born at 108 pounds, more than 5 feet tall

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(Courtesy: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami)

MIAMI – Zoo Miami's newest member of the giraffe family made its first appearance to visitors on Wednesday.

The female giraffe was born April 8, weighing a whopping 108 pounds and standing a little more than 5 feet tall.

Zoo officials said Princess Buttercup is the 47th giraffe born at Zoo Miami.

The giraffe's mother is 4-year-old Sabra. Sabra was brought to Zoo Miami from Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa in November 2013. The father, Fezzik, was born at the St. Louis Zoo  and arrived in Miami in May 1998. Fezzik died last November of age-related arthritis.

Zoo officials said giraffes have a pregnancy of about 15 months, and the mother rarely, if ever lies down while giving birth.

"The baby falls about 4 to 6 feet to the floor where it receives quite an impactful introduction to the world," Zoo Miami spokesman Ron Magill said.

Magill said a relative of the giraffe, an okapi, was born at the zoo on April 10. The calf was severely underweight and weak and lived for only a few hours.

Magill said initial test results show that the calf might have had some anomalies of the heart.

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