ASHEBORO, NC - For the first time since 1996, a giraffe has been born at the North Carolina Zoo.

According to keepers, four-year-old "Jamili" gave birth sometime overnight before they arrived at 7 a.m. Friday. Both mother and infant are reported to be doing well.

The mother, "Jamili," was transferred to the N.C. Zoo from the Colorado Springs Zoo in March 2009. The father is "Jack," age four, who also arrived in Asheboro in March 2009 from the Dickerson Park Zoo.

Although this is the first giraffe born at the zoo since December 1996, keepers are experienced in giraffe pregnancies. There have been 10 successful births at the State Zoo over the years.

As of Friday afternoon, animal staff had not determined the baby's sex, choosing not to disturb mother and infant until both are stabilized and the baby is nursing. Until then, access by anyone other than keepers is not being allowed. The length of time until the baby goes on exhibit is also unknown.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary; Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor.