Zookeepers at Reid Park Zoo are awaiting the arrival of a baby giraffe. The mom, Penelope, is at the end of her 15-month gestation.

Animal Care Director Adam Ramsey says staff members are taking turns overnight to check if she’s started going into labor.

During this time, Penelope has rested nice and warm in the giraffe care center barn. We had to do a lot to get things ready inside our giraffe care center barn,” revealed Ramsey.

He expected her to deliver over the weekend, but explains it could happen any day now.

“And so we had to add extra substrates in there, extra dirt, and things that will help the baby get extra footing when it stands,” Ramsey described. “Extra bedding, extra heaters, all kinds of things to make mom extra comfy in there.

She stays in the barn overnight and comes out sometimes during the day. Ramsey emphasizes her privacy is important as she gets closer to labor.

We are separating her at night from dad just to give her a little bit of privacy in case she does go into labor, that shes got that space to herself, he said.

The past 15 months were about learning what keeps Penelope comfortable. Ramsey shared how some of her favorite foods show giraffes can have pregnancy cravings too.

We have a team that goes out and cuts a truckload of our branches and a lot of those go to her. Her favorites have been mulberry and pistache, so she gets lots of her favorites of those.

People visiting the zoo were excited to see more than just the giraffe exhibit.

“We heard that there were animals that were going to give birth. So, I wanted to see that, that’s cool,” shared visitor Isaac Ravis.

One of the female elephants is coming to the end of her 24-month pregnancy, but this is her third baby. Penelope’s baby is her first.

The arrival of these winter babies comes after a baby zebra was born on Christmas Day.

Its a lot of extra work, but were really excited about this baby boom weve got, said Ramsey.

Anyone looking to participate in the fun that comes with the baby boom can vote on the names for the Zebra.