Say hello to Poco, the second giraffe born at the Audubon Nature Institute this year

NEW ORLEANS - Two giraffes have been born at the Audubon Nature Institute’s Species Survival Center in the first two months of 2018.

The reticulated giraffe baby was born on the morning of February 13 while the rest of the city was celebrating Mardi Gras Day.

“While most New Orleanians were enjoying parades, the Audubon animal staff spent the day sitting in the woods making sure the newborn was healthy and nursing,’’ Curator of the Species Survival Center Michelle Hatwood said.

In a fitting turn of events, the baby giraffe, which already weighs in at 100 pounds, has been named Poco, after Audubon Nature Institute board member Lynes “Poco” Sloss, who reigned as Rex 2018.

“It is a fitting name for our newest addition born on New Orleans’ signature holiday,’’ Hatwood said.

A Facebook contest is currently underway to name the other giraffe born this year at the center to Kiki Longstocking, one of the five female and four make giraffes at the center.

The two choices are "T'Challa" and "Zulu." Over 3,000 people have cast their vote so far.

And the staff believes at least one more baby giraffe may be on the way.

“I think the two boys we just had need a sister,’’ Hatwood said. ‘So I’m crossing my fingers for a girl.’’