A 70kg giraffe calf that entered the world in spectacular fashion in full public view at Perth Zoo on the weekend made his public debut today – this time a little more dignified and on his feet, standing tall with mother Misha. Following the birth of the male calf at 1.30pm on Saturday in the giraffe exhibit, the youngster and his mother have been kept off display to give them some quiet time and make sure all is well with the calf.
Perth Zoo’s Exotics Supervisor, Sophie Lourandos, said the 165cm tall calf was on his feet within one hour of being born and suckling within two hours.
“He found his feet very quickly and is looking strong and healthy,” Ms Lourandos said.
Mother Misha cleaning the calf.“This is the sixth calf for mother Misha so she is very experienced and calm. The father, Armani, has fathered one other calf – a female - and is showing great interest in his latest offspring.”
Perth Zoo keepers had been closely monitoring the pregnant Misha who was at the end of her 15-month pregnancy and last examined her at 12.30pm on the Saturday. Less than an hour later, the calf was born.
“There were none of the usual tell-tale signs – the pacing, the swishing of her tail and glancing at her stomach – but nature took its course and all went well,” Ms Lourandos said.
The calf with father, Armani.“The keepers moved Misha and her newborn into the night quarters so that they could check them over and monitor their progress.”
Perth Zoo Chief Executive Susan Hunt said the Zoo was part of a regional giraffe breeding program. The giraffes at Perth Zoo are Rothschild’s Giraffe which are the most endangered of the giraffe species with only a few hundred found in Kenya and Uganda.
“Since 1995, Perth Zoo has successfully bred seven Rothschild’s Giraffe,” Ms Hunt said. “The last calf was a female born on Christmas Eve 2007.”
Details of a naming competition for the new calf will be announced shortly.