Monday, November 29, 2021

CoViD-19: Omicron "Cause For Concern, Not Panic" | New Variant: Same Mitigations, Still Airborne | Photos: Baby Giraffe Born at San Diego Zoo |


Baby Giraffe Born Approx 2:30pm at San Diego Zoo, Taken Approx 30 Minutes Later 

I know it was a long weekend and all the news is still in your face about Omicron and supply-chain and holiday shopping and cyber-Monday and inevitable double your normal emails for Giving Tuesday, but I got to witness something AMAZING today. 

I was going to the San Diego Zoo for the afternoon, as I often do on Mondays. As I entered, a Zoo employee came up to one of her coworkers at the entrance saying she just witnessed the birth of the giraffe. 

I'd been anticipating this since they put up the birthing fence within the habitat at the beginning of November. I hustled through the long walkway to the mesa and came upon about a hundred people oohing and aahing. I set up with my camera behind a couple people who eventually tired and left so I was able to post up pretty much until closing to watch the baby. The big excitement was about the baby's first steps, which usually come within an hour of birth but takes a few tries first. And so we waiting. Baby would try to get up, collapse, then get enough strength to try again, legs splayed in all directions, tumbling forward and backward, rolling to its side. 

After about an hour, the moment finally came and mom had cleaned and preened, and nudged her legs in a way more conducive to standing up and it did it! Wobbly legs, mom stood over her and straightened her legs until one step, then two, then looking for a teat. I was told the mom was Saba, and this is her first calf. She would walk away, and the little calf would follow, as the other curious giraffes looked in, necks over the fence to get close but still maintain distance. 

The whole experience was super amazing, and I filmed about 20 video clips and shot over 550 photos right up until my camera battery died. I was excited and shared it with Eric over at NBC, so he did a little writeup and photo gallery with my shots here.  You can see the first steps on my Instagram post here. And I'm gonna post some photos as the end of this post. 

As for COVID-19, just assume Omicron is gonna be and Delta is still everywhere. The US is still only sequencing 5-10% of samples and there are still no widespread surveillance programs for the public besides what we've been doing at SDUSD, but even then, weekly PCR testing is opt-in, so you know that shit is going around undetected. (And we did an antigen test when she returned from Missouri, too.) Plus, there have still been no strong statements by WHO or CDC that COVID is airborne which is really holding us all back but would likely collapse entire industries should it be said with real force.

Stay safe out there. Photos at the end. 


No comments: