22 October 2013
Australia Zoo was over the moon last week as we welcomed Skye the baby giraffe, the first giraffe to be born in Queensland, into our family. She dropped in at 10.10am AEST on Wednesday 16 October, the first child for proud parents Forrest and Rosie.
Both Rosie and her calf are healthy and doing extremely well, according to Australia Zoo Africa curator Laurie Pond. “Our little giraffe has already taken her first wobbly steps after two or three concerted efforts to stand up,” Laurie said. “She is already suckling and we couldn’t be happier with her progress. Rosie is also doing well and is a fantastic first-time mum, and seems quite content with her new little calf.”
Both Forrest and Rosie have settled at Australia Zoo since 2009. Rosie travelled from Monarto Zoo in South Australia whilst Forrest arrived from Auckland Zoo in New Zealand.
“Forrest is quite the lucky man, being the only male in our herd of four giraffe,” Laurie said. “Our other two giraffe girls, Sally and Penny, are also expecting calves in the next few months.”
Rosie and Skye will spend the next few weeks bonding, with visitors to Australia Zoo getting the opportunity to see them at roaming our African savannah in the coming months.
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- The gestation period for a giraffe is 14-15 months
- Giraffes give birth standing up - the impact of hitting the ground stimulates the calf to take its first breath
- Newborn calves stand at approximately 1.8m tall – the perfect height to reach their mothers’ udders
- Giraffes are known for their elongated necks. Like most mammals, they have seven vertebrae but each vertebra is much larger to support a long and muscular neck
- Giraffes have their own unique coat pattern much like a human fingerprint
- 5 years old (born 17/01/2008)
- About 4m tall, which is the average height for a female giraffe
- Arrived at Australia Zoo in November 2009 from Monarto Zoo in South Australia
- She is our most confident giraffe, taking everything in her stride – she’ll make a great first time mum!
- 5 years old (born 17/11/2007)
- Forrest is not quite fully grown yet - he could reach 6m tall and weigh as much as 1500kg
- Arrived at Australia Zoo in May 2009 from Auckland Zoo in New Zealand
- Forrest is a lucky boy, being the only male in our herd of four giraffes
- He is a lovely boy who is maturing with age
- All four of Australia Zoo’s giraffes have only recently reached sexual maturity. This birth, and the pregnancy of the other two females, goes to show how much they are enjoying the open spaces of our Africa exhibit
- Through continuous monitoring of the pregnancies via blood serum analysis and ultrasound we are also able to contribute to the knowledge base on the reproduction of the species
- Poaching and habitat loss remain the biggest threat to giraffe populations, but prospects for survival are good for those living in game reserves and national parks
- The Giraffe Conservation Foundation estimates that there are less than 80,000 individuals remaining across all subspecies