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‘Buttercup’ Explores Giraffe Exhibit For First Time

It’s a whole new world for giraffe calf Buttercup, as the newest member of the Santa Barbara Zoo took its first steps outside today.

Visitors looked into the giraffe exhibit as he walked around the enclosure with his mom Audrey right behind him.

Even the youngest of the visitors, like 1-year-old Michael James, was excited to see what Buttercup would do next.

“He is super stoked about the giraffe. We were happy to see them out and about. We didn’t know they were going to be out today,” said Brittnee James, visiting the zoo with her family from Port Hueneme.

After a few sure steps, the young calf broke out in a run much to the crowd’s delight.

The bouncing baby boy is not small.

“He’s about 186 pounds and over 6 1/2. It’s the biggest calf I’ve ever seen,” said Sheri Horiszny, with the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Over the past few years, the zoo has seen plenty.

“I think it’s like the fourth baby here so far. It’s a lot of babies,” said Zoo visitor Isaac Ramos, 10, of Santa Maria.

The last two calves went to zoos in Wako, Texas and Phoenix. They made a big contribution to the Masai Giraffe population.

One more giraffe is expecting; Betty Lou is due in March.

For the next few months Buttercup will be the only calf in the exhibit, giving him plenty of time to explore.

“Well everything’s new to him if you think about it. He’s four days old so he’d never seen a bird before, he’s never seen rocks before. The wind feels different outside of the barn so just everything is new. So he’s reacting to that and then running back to what he knows, and then coming back out for more,” said Horiszny.

In honor of the new giraffe, a Beanie Baby will be made. The stuffed animal will be available at the zoo starting in December.

Slideshow: “Buttercup” Baby Giraffe Takes First Steps

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