Taronga Western Plains Zoo has welcomed a female Giraffe calf born on Friday 1st January 2016 to the delight of keepers on their early morning rounds.
Keepers have named the calf Nyah (pronounced Ni-ah), meaning “purpose” in Swahili.
Nyah is the third 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, she is still a little shy, spending a lot of her day at the back of the exhibit,” said Giraffe Keeper, Jackie Stuart
“Over the coming weeks, she 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 month, which is very exciting.”
Giraffe numbers in the wild have been decreasing over the past decade it is estimated less than 80,000 Giraffe remain 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 Jackie.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located in Central Western NSW and is open every day from 9am – 4pm. For more information visit www.taronga.org.au or 6881 1400.