IT'S A BOY!
Monday 10th December 2007

Western Plains Zoo's newest addition, a male giraffe calf, shortly after his birth on 6 December 2007.
Photo: Tim Portas

Western Plains Zoo is celebrating the birth of yet another baby at the zoo, this time a giraffe calf, which was born on exhibit on Thursday, 6 December 2007 to the delight of many onlookers.

The yet-to-be-named male calf came into the world with a thud as giraffes give birth standing up, meaning the baby falls around 1.8m to the ground.  This is the fifth calf for experienced mother Matungi and the eighth giraffe calf born under the zoo's breeding program since mid 2003.

"The calf is very healthy; he stood up less than an hour after being born and was suckling around two hours later which was great to see.  Although he was a little shaky on his legs once up," said Giraffe Keeper Kevin Milton.

"The process is very quick because in the wild as those who hang around for too long fall prey to other carnivorous animals," said Kevin.

The calf is a little shy, staying close by his mum, Matungi, most of the time, with all the members of the herd keeping a watchful eye over the new member of the herd.

"Western Plains Zoo is experiencing a baby boom at present with the giraffe calf being the fourth baby born since late October this year," said Acting Manager of Life Sciences Jane Burgess.

"All the staff are very excited about the highly anticipated arrival of the giraffe calf, there is always a great buzz around the Zoo when a baby is born," said Jane.

The giraffe calf and the giraffe herd are on exhibit everyday, with a keeper talk at 2:30pm were members of the public can learn more about these tall creatures.

Western Plains Zoo is located in Central West NSW, just five hours from Sydney and Newcastle and ten hours from Brisbane and Melbourne on the Newell Highway.  The Zoo is open from 9:00am to 4:00pm (exit gates close at 5:00pm) everyday of the year.  For more information please call 02 6881 1400 or visit www.zoo.nsw.gov.au.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY 9:30am 10 December 2007.  For more information contact Mandy Quayle on (02) 6881 1413 or mquayle@zoo.nsw.gov.au.