Six Flags Great Adventure welcomes baby giraffe

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image "><span></span></div><span class="caption-text">Mika, a female reticulated giraffe, was born to first-time mom Noel on Oct. 11 inside the giraffe barn.</span></div>
Six Flags Great Adventure's animal care team is celebrating the birth of an adorable giraffe calf at the Safari.

Mika, a female reticulated giraffe, was born to first-time mom Noel Oct. 11 inside the giraffe barn. Mika is the Safari's ninth giraffe.

"Noel is a great mom," said Jason Holloway, a safari supervisor who oversees the giraffe herd. "She began nursing right away. Mika is healthy and doing very well."

Holloway said that Mika stood within an hour of her birth and measured 5 feet 10 inches tall.

Noel was born December 2001. The calf's grandmother, named Georgia, has been one of the Safari's most beloved residents since 1993.

Mika ventured outside the giraffe barn for the first time Oct. 21 under Noel's watchful eye, and Holloway was there to capture the first moments on video.

Guests will be able to see Mika on the Safari Off Road Adventure during the park's closing weekend Nov. 1 and 2, and during the Grape Adventure Wine Festival's Safari tours Nov. 8 and 9, weather permitting.

Reticulated giraffes, also known as Somali giraffes, are native to northeastern Kenya, southern Ethiopia and Somalia. They possess a distinctive coat pattern featuring red-brown polygonal patches divided by thin white lines. Full-grown female giraffes stand approximately 16 feet tall and weigh approximately 1,800 lbs.

Giraffe gestation lasts approximately 13 to 15 months, with typically one calf born. Mothers give birth standing up. Newborn calves typically stand approximately 6 feet tall.

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