September 22 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Visitors to a Suffolk animal park will be in for a treat this month after it emerged a healthy baby giraffe has been born at the centre.
The female calf was born at the end of last month at Africa Alive! in Kessingland following a 16-month pregnancy.
Both the youngster and her mother, Kiara, are reported to be doing well.
Staff at the park say they are delighted by the good news, particularly as it is the second birth within the giraffe herd this year.
Lead keeper Sarah Kelly said: “We have kept them apart from the other giraffes just to give them a bit of time to bond.
“So far Kiara is doing really well for a first-time mum. We are very pleased because the last baby giraffe we had to hand rear.”
The baby reticulated giraffe was 6ft tall when she was born and is growing quickly. Sarah added: “Mother and baby are doing very well. They grow very quickly at first. It is very exciting when a new baby is born at the zoo and lovely for the public as well.”
Gary Batters, director of conservation and education, said: “The birth of a healthy calf is always good news. If you live locally you really should try to visit the park to see her.”
The park’s three giraffes all arrived in 2011, with Kiara arriving from Koln Zoo and the calf’s father, Kimoni, coming from Duisburg.
There are a total of nine different sub-species of giraffe and it is estimated there are fewer than 5,000 still living in the wild, compared to an estimated 28,000 in the late 1990s.
The reticulated giraffe is among the most popular to be kept in zoos and is currently part of a breeding programme being conducted by European Zoos.