Taronga Western Plains Zoo has welcomed a male Giraffe calf born on Sunday 3 August 2014 to the delight of visitors on the early morning walk tour.
Keepers have named the calf Nkosi (pronounced N-koh-see), meaning ruler or chief in Zulu.
Nkosi is the second calf for mother Ntombi who is very protective of her calf but is showing all the right maternal behaviours.
“The Giraffe calf is on exhibit with the rest of the herd however, he is still a little shy, spending most of the day at the back of the exhibit ,” said Giraffe Keeper, Kevin Milton
“Over the coming weeks, he will start to become more confident and explore the rest of the exhibit.”
“We are expecting more Giraffe calves to be born in the coming months.”
Giraffe numbers in the wild have been decreasing over the past decade with an estimated 80,000 Giraffe remaining in the wild. The 30% drop in numbers is directly due to poaching for bush meat and also habitat encroachment by farmers.
“Every birth for a species such as the Giraffe that are seeing a decline in wild populations is important, as it helps to insure against extinction.”
“Through programs such as Beads for Wildlife, we aim to help wildlife such as Giraffe by providing communities in Kenyan with alternate income sources so they don’t have to rely some much on the herds and grazing. Less livestock means less pressure on water and food for wildlife such as the Giraffe,” said Kevin.