We suspect the baby giraffe was born around 7 am on the 30th September as he was still quite wet when the first keepers came in at 7.40. I got the text at 8 am and managed to get to work 10.15 in time to see when he was standing for the first time. It is an event which is always nerve wrecking because baby giraffes have quite a distance to fall when they fail to control their long legs at their first couple of attempts.
At around 10.30 am he managed the task!
Baby giraffe first attempts at suckling
Shortly after, he started to search for the teats to get a suckle for the first time but orientations skills are never an immediate success as calves of many species appear to be searching every else than at the right spot. First time Mum was showing good maternal instincts and was cleaning her baby well but she seemed a little unsure of the whole suckling experience as every time the baby got near the teats, she moved away. He did eventually succeed and after a couple of times, Mum seemed to get used to it as well.
Zookeeper at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
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