Hello baby! Second giraffe calf born in three months At Belfast Zoo
The new arrival is the second giraffe calf born at Belfast Zoo in the last three months.
Late on Thursday night, Neja the giraffe, became a fourth-time mother when she gave birth to the herd's newest female Rothschild’s giraffe.
The giraffe calf, named Ballyclare, is delighting both visitors and staff and has arrived just in time for the August Bank Holiday.
Mother and baby are both said to be doing well with the keepers and zoo veterinarian closely watching over the pair to ensure the calf is nursing well and the mother-calf bond is strong.
Measuring in at 5 foot 9 inches, baby Clare already has a head start on her older brother Ronan who was born back in May; he was one of the shortest giraffe calves ever born at Belfast Zoo at just 5 foot 2 inches.
It was also reported that the calf got her balance quickly after birth, seemed very strong, and was able to stand up within an hour of birth.
Senior Keeper, Peter Cross explains: “Back at the end of May we welcomed Ronan, who is named after a village in County Londonderry. This time, the team have gone with Ballyclare or ‘Clare’ for short, as it is tradition at Belfast Zoo that any new giraffe calves born are named after towns and villages that begin with Bally.”
Zoo Manager Alyn Cairns believes the success of the zoo’s giraffe breeding programme is due to the expertise and dedication from his team.
“We work collaboratively with zoos around the world and take part in a European breeding programme. Since we became home to the species in 1988, we have celebrated the arrival of 37 calves and we are delighted to welcome little Clare to the herd.”
The Zoo is now home to nine Rothschild’s giraffes, one of the nine subspecies of giraffes.
Giraffes are one of the world’s most iconic and loved animals, but they are facing increasing threats in the wild due to poaching and habitat destruction.
Rothschild's giraffes are one of the most endangered of the nine subspecies of giraffe.