In New South Wales on the afternoon of January 24, Mogo Zoo's visitors got to witness a rare sight: a baby Giraffe being born.
Mom Shani, a Rothschild Giraffe, began the first stages of labor while on view in the habitat, surrounded by the rest of the herd, who clearly understood what was going on. Following a one and-a-half hour labor, as the visiting public looked on in awe and delight, a healthy female calf was born at 12:57 p.m.. She weighed in at 264.5 pounds (120 kg). Shani, now an experienced third-time mother, has bonded extremely well with her newborn, starting with a thorough cleaning of the newborn with her long tongue.
The calf made her first wobbly attempts to stand at 1:45 p.m. and was attempting to nurse by 2:00 p.m. Seeing that those milestones had been reached, the proud mother gently nosed her calf over to the adjoining savannah fence, where the remaining members of the herd were eagerly awaiting an introduction.
Of the nine subspecies of giraffes in Africa, the Rothschild’s Giraffe is classified as Endangered, with less than 670 individuals remaining in the wild. The populations are declining due to a number of factors, including habitat loss and fragmentation. Human population growth and illegal hunting also contribute to their dwindling numbers. Mogo Zoo already plays a major role in the Global Breeding Program for this Endangered sub-species. With the recent introduction of Tanzi, the zoo's newest breeding female from Melbourne Zoo, Mogo Zoo is confident that their participation and success in the Program will continue to grow.
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