Franklin Drive Thru Safari welcomes baby giraffe

Posted at 2:51 PM, Dec 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-29 18:08:07-05

Central Texans will soon get to meet a baby giraffe at Franklin Drive Thru Safari in Robertson County.

Her name is Natalii. "It means born at Christmas," animal caretaker Chris Soles said.

But you can also call her a Christmas miracle.

"We didn't expect it to be born on Christmas. And lo and behold, it's outside. Momma had the baby outside," Soles said.

Soles and his family, who own the safari, rushed to make sure she was OK.

"We pushed mom in the barn and grabbed the baby and checked on the health and measure and weigh and put her in the barn and keep her as warm as possible," he said. 

Taking care of a newborn giraffe is a full-time job.

"[It takes] constant care. We come in in the middle of the night, check on her ... just constant watch. [We're] making sure momma is doing what she's doing, making sure the baby is getting enough milk," he said.

And at just four days old, she's already as tall as your average man, or a little more than 5.5 feet.

"She can lick my eyeballs. No problem. Give her next week and a half, she might be over my head," Soles, who is about six feet tall, said.

But until she gets as tall as her mother, Bertha, and her father, John, who are more than 16 feet tall, Soles said their goal is to keep Natalii as healthy and happy as possible.

"It was the best Christmas present I ever got," he said.

As of Friday, Natalii will be kept inside her warm barn with her family. She'll be let outside once it gets a little warmer.

Learn more about the Franklin Drive Thru Safari.

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