Giraffe at Woodland Park Zoo expecting first baby

Photo: Tufani (left) was a great aunt to nephew Misawa (right), who moved to Gladys Porter Zoo in 2015. Tufani's keepers are confident her experience as a doting aunt could prove useful for her as a first time mother. (Credit: Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo )

SEATTLE — Zookeepers say Tufani, an 8-year-old giraffe, is expecting her first baby this summer!

Giraffe pregnancies tend to last 14 to 15 months which means the baby is due sometime between mid-May and early July 2017.

Tufani is in her third trimester. The father is a 4-year-old giraffe named Dave — he arrived at the zoo in June 2014.

“Due to the long gestation period, signs of pregnancy can be difficult to detect early on,” said Katie Ahl, zookeeper at Woodland Park Zoo. “For those of us who work with Tufani on a daily basis we can see how her physical appearance has changed. That combined with the lab results make us confident she is pregnant.”

This would be the second viable giraffe birth at Woodland Park Zoo since 1997.

Zookeepers say Tufani was a “doting aunt” to Misawa.

“She was interested in him the minute he was born and was very protective of him. This makes me think she will be a good mom,” Ahl said.

Tufani will remain on exhibit until she has the baby. Starting May 1, park-goers can visit Tufani and two other giraffes at the up close giraffe experience.