Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: November 24, 2021 10:35 am
Akiki the giraffe calf receives his bottle from keepers at Perth Zoo under the watch of the rest of the herd
Photo Credit: Perth Zoo
Perth Zoo have celebrated the debut of two giraffe calves born earlier this year. Female Zahara was born in September 2021, followed by her half-brother Akiki in October.
Akiki had a tough start to life after his mother had trouble nursing the calf and was not receiving enough nutrients to thrive. Since then he has been cared for behind the scenes by zoologists.
Senior Keeper, Kaelene McKay, who has been helping rear the male calf, said: “Now seven weeks old, Akiki has developed into an adventurous and tall calf, measuring in at 2.3 metres.”
“Currently he is slurping his way through two litres of specially formulated giraffe milk replacer every feed and weighs in at over 125kg!”
“But importantly, we have been able to reintegrate him with the rest of the giraffe herd and he is now enjoying time exploring the outdoors and playing with Zahara.”
“It’s certainly been a labour of love caring for Akiki over the last few weeks, it takes a lot of time, many sleepless nights and lots of expertise.”
— AD —
“But watching him get stronger and seeing the two calves grow-up alongside one another has made the effort worth it.”
“Zoo visitors are certainly in for a treat,” said Kaelene. “However, I would suggest patience when trying to catch a glimpse.”
“Despite their height, the calves are still young and do tire quickly, so if you cannot see them straight away pop back a bit later,” said Kaelene.
Perth Zoo have a long history in breeding giraffe. Since 1995 they have welcomed 12 calves which have gone on to live in other Australian and New Zealand zoos.
Once they are old enough Zahara and Akiki will move to other zoos in the region to participate in the coordinated breeding program which is aiming to help giraffes which are endangered. They have suffered a 40% decline in population over the past 30 years.
Learn more about Giraffe here – Giraffe Fact File | The Animal Facts
Learn more about the Perth Zoo on their website – Perth Zoo
Zahara and her half-brother Akiki during their first adventure in to the giraffe habitat at Perth Zoo
Photo Credit: Perth Zoo
Copyright The Animal Facts 2021
Copyright The Animal Facts 2023