Natural Bridge, VA - Natural Bridge Zoo welcomed two new members to their family this weekend. Twin giraffes were born Friday.
The zoo owner tells ABC 13 they had no idea the mother was having twins. She's never seen a twin birth of such large animals, so everyone in the park is thrilled at their arrival. Zookeeper Debbie Mogensen made the early morning discovery Friday.
"I saw one baby, then I turned the other way and saw another one, and I was like, 'Oh my gosh!' I couldn't believe it," said Mogensen.
"I was like, 'Wow!' Just to see it, it's amazing," said Rayne Masters, a zoo volunteer.
It was a surprise to the twins' mother too. Gabriella, a 22-year-old giraffe, didn't have enough milk for both of her babies. They were quickly switched to the bottle.
The twin giraffes are about 5'5" tall, but when they stretch up, they're actually closer to 6'. They are expected to grow to 16 feet tall eventually.
The twin giraffes are a rarity.
"I don't know if it's true or not, but someone told me it's a one in 218,000 chance to have twins. So in a lifetime if you have one set of twins, it's just unbelievable," said Mogensen.
Rayne Masters, 12, volunteers at the zoo.
"It doesn't happen very often and I'm one of the people that gets to see it. Once in a lifetime experience," said Masters.
Mogensen says the twins stay together all the time. They've received tons of name ideas, but haven't chosen any just yet.
"We're very happy and pleased to have two beautiful babies and they're healthy. It's just a wonderful feeling," said Mogensen.
In order to give the babies enough time to adjust, they won't be on display to the public until probably sometime next week.