Planckendael

Baby Giraffe Born in Belguim

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There's a brand new baby giraffe calf on the savanna at the KDMA 's Planckendael in Belgium. Born to mom, Diamond, in late July after a gestation period of 15 1/2 months, the newborn is probably a male, weighing about 132 pounds (60 kg). The mother gave birth peacefully over 3 1/2 hours in the stable of her lodge, with her keepers nearby. That is a long time for a giraffe birth, but it is shorter than it was for Diamond the first time she gave birth. The calf was on its feet in only 20 minutes and is estimated to be 5' 9' (1.8 meters) tall.

Once the baby's gender is confirmed, they will start a poll for names on their website, There will be five African names the keepers provided from which to choose.

The newborn is getting used to the outdoors first in a small part of the savanna arena. The door remains open to the stall so mother and baby can go in or out as they please. Soon the new calf will be able to explore the greater plains together with his or her family, to which baby makes five:  Mom Diamond, Sarah, Barbie, and the lone male, Karega Baridi.

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Photo Credit: Planckendael/KDMA

Did you know that giraffes are are the tallest land animals in the world and yet they have only seven cervical vertebrae, just like a mouse (and like us!)?



Baby Giraffe Drops 6 Feet into the World!

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Planckendael Zoo in Antwerp rang in the New Year with bells and whistles with the birth of a baby giraffe. New mother Barbie is caring for her calf in the warm stable where visitors can admire them for now. The little calf was born yesterday at around 3 pm. First his two front legs dangled out en then his head followed. It all happened very fast. He fell almost six feet before hitting the ground! The actual birth lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes. After 30 minutes the "little" guy was already trying to balance on his long legs. This is Barbie’s second calf. In early 2009 she gave birth to a daughter, Kianga. Beginning this spring, the newborn can be seen running around on the savannah with his 6 family members, as well as antelopes, impalas and the strange-looking helmet guinea fowl.

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Planckendael-Giraffe-Calf5Photo credits: Eric Wynen / Planckendael Zoo

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Rare Debut of Asiatic Lion Cubs

Belgium's Planckendael Zoo has something to be very proud of. Five tiny Asiatic lion cubs made their public debut today, and the quintuplets are healthy, happy, and ready for mischief. Mom keeps the little rascals under control, but her own amusement is palpable in photos taken earlier today. Wild Asiatic lions are in danger of extinction, and only 411 individuals remain today. Breeding efforts like these help to bolster the reserve population as efforts to increase wild populations continue.

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Photo Credits: Planckendael Zoo


Belgium Welcomes First Baby Snow Leopard

Belgium's Planckendael Zoo is proud to announce the debut of Laila, the first Snow Leopard cub ever to be born in the country. A short while after her birth in April, Laila's mother Maili's health declined rapidly and, sadly, she did not survive. Planckendael keepers stepped in and have raised the orphaned cub by hand. It is believed that only between 4,000 and 6,000 Snow Leopards remain in the wild. Laila represents an invaluable new bloodline for the European Snow Leopard Breeding Program.

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Photo Credits: Zoo Planckendael

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