Baby Boom at the Zoo with Third Giraffe Calf Born
Friday 19th February 2010
Baby Boom at the Zoo with Third Giraffe Calf Born

Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Frank Sartor, today announced the arrival of Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s third Giraffe calfin less than three months.

“The birth of the third Giraffe calf is great news for the regional breeding program,” Mr Sartor said.

“The Zoo continues to experience breeding success with this most recent birth following the arrival of a critically endangered Przewalski’s Horse foal in January.

“The Zoo’s continued breeding success is testament to its sound animal husbandry and management practices.”

The calf, a female named Kitoto meaning small baby in Swahili, was born on the morning of Friday 5 February to mother Andrea and father Unami. 

Kitoto is the eighth calf for Andrea who has been a large contributorto the Zoo’s Giraffe breeding program since she arrived from Honolulu Zoo in 1986. 

Andrea was the first Giraffe at Taronga Western Plains Zoo to produceoffspring, commencing what is now one of the Zoo’s most successful breeding programs.

Zoo Keeper, Pascale Benoit said new mother Andrea is experienced, displaying all the right maternal behaviours towards her offspring. 

“The calf is very healthy and getting stronger everyday but is a little cautious, always staying close by Andrea whilst out on exhibit,” Ms Benoit said.

“It is rare to see three Giraffe calves out on exhibit together at such a young age and definitely a must see.

“The older two Giraffe calves - born late last year - have bonded really well together and are very curious and playful. 

“Kitoto will be Andrea’s last calf as she is entering the latter stages of her breeding life.

“We hope that Andrea’s offspring will continue the breeding success that she has achieved during her time at the Zoo.”

The Zoo is now home to 12 Giraffe on the main exhibit and three male Giraffe on the African Savannah exhibit.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located in Dubbo in Central Western NSW.  The Zoo is open everyday from 9am – 4pm.  For further informationcontact 6881 1400 or visit www.taronga.org.au.

Key Facts:

  • Taronga Western Plains Zoo is a globally recognised open range zoo located in Dubbo.
  • The Zoo undertakes a vital role in breeding and conservation programs including Tasmanian Devil, Malleefowl, Black Rhinoceros, Przewalski’s Horse, Cheetah and African Wild Dogs. 
  • The Giraffe is the tallest of all mammals, males reaching a height of about 5.5m and females about 5m.
  • To circulate blood all through this tall body, the Giraffe has the biggest heart of any animal, weighing about 12 kg.
  • Taronga Western Plains Zoo's Giraffe breeding program contributes to the NSW State Plan by contributing to public education and awareness programs about species conservation and management.