A giraffe calf takes her first steps outside as UK families head back to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo for the first time in months
A giraffe calf at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo has taken her first steps outside, just in time to greet visitors returning to the UK’s largest Zoo after it re-opened last week.
While many people in the UK left their homes for their first family days-out of 2021, four-month-old reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) Margaret had her own first adventure outdoors last week.
Born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on 8 December at the same time as the world’s first Covid-19 vaccination was being administered – the reticulated giraffe calf was named Margaret by keepers, after the first recipient Margaret Keenan. Until last week, the baby giraffe has stayed inside the warmth and familiarity of the Zoo’s giraffe house with mum Luna and their close-knit family.
Last week, however, the young giraffe was filmed by zoo staff venturing outdoors for the first time and exploring the herd’s spacious enclosure at the 600-acre Zoo. In the footage, Margaret can be seen tentatively following her mother and other members of the herd past a lake, before striding off to explore her environment alone, ‘checking in’ with mum Luna from time-to-time.
Team leader Mark Holden said: “Once again, Margaret seems to be capturing the mood of the nation. First, she was born – a huge boost for the population of her Endangered species - on the same day that the first Covid-19 vaccine was administered, and now, here she is, taking her first steps outside just as the rest of the UK is venturing back out on family adventures, like coming here to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
“With 600 acres to explore, we are the perfect place for anyone looking to blow off the cobwebs of lockdown and head into the countryside, where Margaret and the world’s most incredible animals wait to be discovered.”
Families and animal lovers can book tickets for ZSL Whipsnade Zoo at www.zsl.org