Staff at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are delighted by the arrival of the first two spring babies with a Giraffe calf born on exhibit on Friday 2 September and a Zebra foal born in the evening on Sunday 18 September.
The female Giraffe calf has been named Mzungu, meaning ‘pale’ or ‘white one’ in Swahili, as the calf has the palest coat keepers have ever seen at the Zoo.
“Mzungu was born on exhibit at the time of the public Giraffe in Focus encounter so there was a big cheer from the crowd when she came into the world and has loved being the centre of attention ever since,” said keeper, Mark O’Riordan.
Mzungu is the first calf for mother Asmara who is displaying all the right maternal behaviours whilst the calf is very confident and enjoys frolicking around the exhibit.
“Mzungu and cousin Mvita which was born in April 2011 will grow up together on exhibit at the Zoo and no doubt become close and play together until they reach breeding age and then may join another breeding program in another Zoo,” said Mark.
On Monday 19 September keepers arrived at work to be greeted by a Zebra foal which had arrived overnight. The yet to be named female foal was on exhibit that day with the herd to the delight of visitors.
This newest arrival is to mother Kioni and father Tano. It is the second foal for Kioni which first gave birth in 2009. The foal is adorable and whilst it looks very long-legged at the moment it will grow up to have a stout and solid build like its mother and the other Zebra in the herd,” said keeper, Carolene Magner.
“Spring babies are always very popular with the visitors and both the Giraffe calf and Zebra foal are on exhibit for the visitors to see.”
“In addition to the recent spring babies the Zoo has also welcomed Meerkat pups in late July 2011 which can also be seen exploring their exhibit,” said Carolene.