Baby Wildebeest at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

July 9, 2014 - A brand new baby wildebeest was born Wednesday morning at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. Lisa Gehlhausen, a zookeeper, talks about the birth.

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Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette
The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo welcomes a wildebeest calf Wednesday after an unexpected delivery.

Zoo visitors surprised by wildebeest birth

– Zoo-goers who found themselves in the African savannah Wednesday morning were treated to a little bonus not included in the ticket price.

A wildebeest went into labor and gave birth to a calf as several guests took pictures and shot videos.

All of which were quickly uploaded to the Internet.

“We were scooped by people on our own Facebook page,” said Cheryl Piropato, spokeswoman for the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.

Zookeepers and veterinary staff were aware of the pregnancy but could not pinpoint a due date.

The calf’s gender has yet to be determined.

Shortly after being born at 10:08 a.m., the calf was walking on its own and began nursing about a half-hour after its first steps.

Zebras in the exhibit were put away in the zoo’s barn to allow the calf to adjust to life on the pasture.

Wildebeest births at the zoo are not uncommon, according to Piropato.

The calf, the zoo’s fourth wildebeest, joins the three females already residing there, she said.

The newborn was sired by a male wildebeest that had been at the zoo for about a month.

That wildebeest, though, was suffering from terminal cancer and has since died, Piropato said.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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