22 July 2014
Australia Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of its second ever giraffe calf, a beautiful baby girl.
At 4.30pm AEST on Thursday 10th July, first-time mother Sally gave birth to the gorgeous calf at Australia Zoo on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The little girl by the name of Tulip is “tall and spectacular”, as her name suggests.
The winning name was selected from over 7,000 entries submitted through Channel 7 Sunrise’s naming competition. From those – ten special names were passed over to the Irwin family to make the big decision, based on their reason for the name.
Australia Zoo curator Kelsey Engle said that both Sally and little Tulip are doing well.
“We are so excited to announce the birth of a beautiful, healthy baby giraffe. The calf is just under 2m in height, would weigh approximately 50kg and is doing extremely well. She made her first attempts at walking around half an hour after being born, and it only took around another 30 minutes for the youngster to fully master those long gangly legs.
“We’re really happy with the progress – Everything is looking good so far.”
This delightful outcome has been a long time coming for the staff at Australia Zoo, with giraffe gestation periods typically spanning over 15 months.
“First-time mum Sally had a great pregnancy and we could see the development of the baby as we carried out regular ultrasounds throughout,” says Kelsey, “It was an extremely active calf and often gave us a kick during the procedure during the last couple months!
“Although seeming a little surprised to see the baby at the end of the labour, Sally did an amazing job as her motherly instincts kicked in. She was extremely attentive, licking and cleaning the baby immediately.”
The new calf is Sally’s first, but she is welcomed into a strong family of giraffe including her half sister Skye, born at Australia Zoo in October 2013. One of our other giraffe, Penny is also expecting a calf in the very near future!
This new calf and the upcoming birth are signs of a healthy giraffe breeding program at Australia Zoo. With a dedicated crew and lots of hard work, we have been able to achieve extraordinary monitoring of the girls through their pregnancies, extending the knowledge base on giraffe reproductive biology in areas rarely examined before.
Australia Zoo also hosts giraffe encounters with the general public that directly contribute funds to conservation projects with animals in Africa.
Mum and bub will now be taking some precious time out to bond, but you can stay up to date on all the news about Australia Zoo’s growing giraffe family at: www.australiazoo.com.au/giraffe
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