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Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Giraffe breeding program has welcomed two new arrivals with the birth of a female Giraffe calf in searing 40 degree heat on Friday 20 November 2009 and a male Giraffe born on Thursday 10 December 2009.

The female calf named Karaka meaning patch in Swahili and the male calf named Uthuli meaning dust in Zulu both stood up within an hour of being born and started suckling.

“Karaka was born in the night yards and was a little shy at first and didn’t want to go out on to exhibit.  Uthuli on the other hand was born out on exhibit and is more confident,” said Keeper Mark O’Riordan.

“Both Mothers and calves have bonded well and every day the calves are getting more and more inquisitive about the other Giraffe in the herd and their exhibit.”

“Matungi and Tulli are experienced mothers having both contributed to the Zoo’s Giraffe breeding program greatly over the years,” said Mark.

“It has been a couple of years since we have had two Giraffe calves born so close together.  It is always a great sight to see as the calves are really playful at a young age,”

Visitors coming to the Zoo are in for a special treat during the school holidays as not only is there two Giraffe calves but also a Zebra foal, a Bison calf and a Wapiti calf.

“We have had a bit of a baby boom and I don’t think we are done yet!” said Mark.

These new additions now bring the Zoo’s Giraffe herd on exhibit to 11 with an additional three males on the African Savannah.  The best time to see the Giraffe herd as well as the calves is on the Early Morning Walk behind the scenes with a Zoo volunteer.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located in Dubbo in Central Western NSW and is open everyday from 9am to 4pm.  For more information about the Zoo contact 68811400 or visit

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