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Newborn giraffe now on exhibit at zoo

The newest addition to the giraffe family at the Santa Barbara Zoo was let outside on Tuesday for the very first time.

Zoo visitors crowded near the giraffe exhibit to catch a glimpse of Dane.

The 5-day-old calf took his first steps in the exhibit. Since his mom Audrey gave birth on Thursday, Dane has been in the barn.

The rest of the herd, including Betty-Lou and the father Michael, could be seen fondly nuzzling the calf.

Zookeepers said both mom and big baby boy are doing well.

On Wednesday, Dane will be available to view from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“He looks so small but he’s 6-foot-3, but he looks so small when you’re far away from him,” said Luke Hemple, 8, a zoo visitor.

“Everyone loves a baby and his is genetically very valuable, he’s going to make a huge contribution to the giraffe population so we’re very excited to have him here with us,” said Dr. Julia Barnes, zoo veterinarian.

So far, Audrey is allowing Dane to nurse, which is making zookeepers happy. Audrey’s last calf, Daniel, had to be hand-fed by keepers.

NewsChannel 3 is still on giraffe watch as Betty-Lou, who is 15 months pregnant, is set to give birth soon.

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