Excitement as zoo welcomes new baby giraffe calf
PUBLISHED: 17:18 13 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:21 13 October 2020
(C) Archant 2020
A zoo has welcomed a brand new baby reticulated giraffe - the first calf in six years.
The male calf was delivered to mother Kibibi without any complications on Wednesday October 7 at Africa Alive! in Kessingland, near Lowestoft.
Reticulated giraffes are one of the most common giraffe sub-species that are kept in captivity and are normally found in arid areas of North and East Africa, with 160 of them being held in 54 zoos across Europe and the UK.
The reticulated giraffes at Africa Alive! are part of a European endangered breeding programme.
Kibibi was the last calf to be born at the zoo to mother Kiara on July 26 2014, who arrived from Cologne Zoo in Germany.
The calf’s father, Jengo, came from Amsterdam Zoo in The Netherlands, arriving at Africa Alive! in July 2019 and this is the first calf he has sired.
Gary Batters, joint managing director, said: “I have seen many giraffe calves during my zoo career but I never fail to be excited to see another one. They are such wonderful animals and this is an important addition to the European Breeding Programme for this subspecies.”
“The calf is now on public view but there will be a need to meet COVID restrictions within the giraffe house, so there may be some queueing required.”
Female giraffes like Kibibi have a gestation period of approximately 15 months and in this time frame she will normally just have one calf at a time and can have up to eight in her lifetime.
Mothers like Kibibi give birth standing up, so when born, the baby giraffe falls seven feet to the ground.
Calves such as the male calf just born at the zoo are approximately six feet tall at birth and they can grow up to nine inches during the first month of their life and continue to grow at a quick rate during the first year of their life.
To view the brand new calf and to look at the other animals at Africa Alive! you can buy tickets online at: https://www.africa-alive.co.uk/
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