Giraffe Calf Brings Hope at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: December 15, 2020 6:43 pm

zsl giraffe calf

Margaret the giraffe calf at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Photo Credit: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

A reticulated giraffe calf has been born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in England on what keepers have dubbed the ‘the day of hope.’ The calf is a female.


Mother Luna gave birth to her second calf on the same day that the first UK citizen received their Covid-19 vaccine. The giraffe calf was born at the same time that 90 year old Margaret Keenan received the vaccine and to honor this the calf has been named Margaret.


Luna gave birth after a 15 month gestation period. Along with recognizing the hope of the Covid-19 vaccine Margaret also represents hope for her endangered species. Her birth is part of the international conservation breeding program for her species.


Mark Holden team leader at ZSL Whipsnade said; “Just as the first vaccine has given people across the UK new hope, our new arrival brings new hope for this endangered species. With fewer than 9,000 individuals living in the wild, this little one’s arrival is a vital boost to the numbers of this Endangered species.”

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“2020 has been a challenging year for the world, and the arrival of our precious giraffe calf on the same day – and actually at the same time! – as the much-anticipated COVID-19 vaccination was first administered feels like a real moment of hope – and one we are so keen to celebrate and remember.”


“Here at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo we have keenly felt the pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we and our sister site ZSL London Zoo, were forced to close for a total of 16 weeks each, putting huge financial strain on our charity and our global conservation efforts.”


It costs £10,000 just to feed the giraffe herd at Whipsnade Zoo each week.


Within the first hour of being born the calf was able to take her first wobbly steps. Her birth involved a 2m drop to the ground as giraffe mothers give birth standing up. Living at Whipsnade Zoo the calf was lucky enough to land on a thick layer of bedding prepared by keepers.

zsl giraffe calf

Margaret the giraffe calf at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Photo Credit: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Learn more about giraffe here – Giraffe Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on their website – ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

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