In full view of zoo visitors, Myeisha the Giraffe delivered a baby at Australia’s Monarto Zoo on April 19.
This calf is Myeisha’s fourth and is the first giraffe born at Monarto Zoo in eight years.
Giraffe keeper Vaughan Wilson said the not-so-little bundle of joy was thriving and settling in well with the rest of the herd in the waterhole habitat. Baby Giraffes typically weigh 100-150 pounds at birth and stand about six feet tall.
As you can see in the video, female Giraffes give birth standing up. The six-foot drop to the ground stimulates the newborn’s breathing and breaks the umbilical cord.
“The birth went really well and shortly after being born, the little one was already on its feet getting used to its long legs,” Vaughan said. “It’s feeding really well and the other females who live in the waterhole habitat are fascinated by the new arrival.”
“It’s a bit like a giraffe maternity ward at Monarto Zoo at the moment, with our giraffe Kinky also expected to give birth any day now, and several more of our females expecting in the coming months," Vaughan said.
Giraffes are classified as Vulnerable to Extinction in the wild, so the calf is an important contribution to the zoo breeding program. Zoos around the world are working to secure the future of the world’s tallest animal, which is facing an uncertain future in the wild.
Habitat loss, poaching, and civil unrest has seen giraffe numbers plummet from around 155,000 in 1985 to just 97,000 in 2015, which equates to a decline of almost 40 per cent over three giraffe generations. This devastating decline led to the Giraffe’s reclassification as Vulnerable to Extinction last year by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.