Paignton Zoo has welcomed a Rothschild’s giraffe calf. The calf was born in front of a busy half term crowd at 2.30pm on Thursday May 28th.
Matthew Webb, Senior Head Keeper of Mammals said, “We let her wander about and find her own place to give birth, rather than shut her in anywhere. She chose to give birth in the giraffe house, in front of visitors in the gallery and a crowd of excited keepers.”
Giraffe calves are born after a 400 to 460 day gestation period. It’s not an easy entry into the world with the mother giving birth standing up. The calf is born at nearly 6ft tall and needs to be on its feet in a few hours.
The calf is already going from strength to strength as zoo spokesperson, Phil Knowling said, “Remote cameras showed the baby feeding from mother overnight. This morning keepers are hopeful that the baby is healthy and that Sangha will rear the calf, although it is very early days – we are still in the critical phase.”
The mother of the calf is Sangha who came to Paignton from Liberec Zoo in the Czech Republic. Dad, Yoda is originally from Givskud Zoo in Denmark. He made the move to the UK in 2006.
Rothschild’s giraffes are also known as Baringo giraffes. A breeding program is underway as they are endangered.
Photo Credit: Paignton Zoo