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Auckland Zoo has welcomed its 30th giraffe calf, with a female calf born on Monday, 16 January.
The newcomer is the fourth offspring of 10-year-old mum Rukiya and 13-year-old Zabulu, who are also parents to Jelani – now at Werribee Open Range Zoo, and Forrest – now at Australia Zoo. Their first calf, born in May 2006, did not survive.
Mum Rukiya and the leggy newcomer have undergone vet checks and are in good health, and Auckland Zoo Pridelands team leader Nat Sullivan is pleased about the female addition.
“A giraffe birth is always exciting to witness however the birth of a female calf is significant to the Australasian region, as she is valuable for the breeding programme. After Rukiya’s previous pregnancies all resulted in males, we were hoping she would produce a female.
“Both mother and calf are both doing well, but we’re going to give her and her calf some time to bond in private like they would in the wild,” she says.
Rukiya and her calf will be gradually integrated with other giraffe, zebra and ostrich in the giraffe paddock in Pridelands, and zoo visitors can expect to see them out and about within the next month.
Auckland Zoo’s giraffe population now stands at four after the arrival of female giraffe Kiraka from Taronga Western Plains Zoo last year.
Visit www.aucklandzoo.co.nz for more up-to-date information about the calf and its progress.
Notes to editor
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