Chester Zoo Welcomes Giraffe Calf

Keepers at Chester Zoo recently had cause to celebrate after the birth of a Giraffe calf was caught live on the attraction’s CCTV system. Tuesday, March 12 saw Orla, a resident giraffe at the zoo, welcome her leggy newborn into the world. Footage captured the moment the calf dropped six feet and landed on soft bed of straw after a lengthy three hours of labour.

Chester giraffe team zookeeper, Rosie Owen commented:

“Giraffes give birth standing up and so they really do enter world in dramatic fashion! Orla’s calf landed with quite a bump when it fell around six feet onto the floor, but this is totally normal and is actually really important part of the birth process.”

She explained that the sudden impact stimulates the newborn giraffe and encourages it to take its first breath.

The CCTV also showed the calf finding its feet for the first time and suckling from Orla within half an hour of being born. Keepers at Chester have yet to identify if the youngster is female or male but have assessed that the calf weighs over 70 kilograms and stands six feet tall. As a member of the tallest species on the planet, the giraffe will likely grow to a height of more than 18 feet tall and have a weight of 1,000 kilograms when it reaches adulthood.

Giraffes have been deemed a vulnerable species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with only around 2,500 left in the entirety of Africa, making the new birth an important event in the efforts to bolster their numbers.

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