Posted on 01st February 2019 by Media Relations
Taronga Western Plains Zoo has two reasons to celebrate with the birth of two Giraffe calves in January.
A male calf was born to mother Tuli on 16 January 2019. The calf has been named Akachi meaning ‘hand of god’ in a West African language. A female calf was born to mother Asmara on 28 January 2019 and is yet to be named. Both calves were sired by giraffe bull Unami.
“Both births occurred on exhibit in the early morning to their respective experienced mothers. Both calves stood a short time within birth and started suckling which was so great to see,” said Keeper Nick Bourke.
“Asmara and Tuli are both doing well along with their calves. Tuli is very protective and keeps her calf close by whilst Asmara is more relaxed and allows her calf to mingle with the herd and explore on her own.”
“As the calves get a little older their level of interaction will increase and we will start to see them gallop around the exhibit, especially in the early part of the day,” said Nick.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s giraffe herd now comprises 14 individuals across four generations making it one of the largest herds in the Australasian region. In addition four male giraffe are out on the African Savannah exhibit.
“The best time of the day to see the giraffe calves is in the morning when they are most active, like any young babies they do enjoy rest periods and have been sitting down in the middle of the day to do so,” said Nick.
“The gestation for a giraffe is 14 – 16 months and we are still expecting another calf to be born, so we will be observing Ntombi closely in the coming months,” said Nick.
Giraffe numbers in the wild have decreased drastically over the past decade, with an estimated 80,000 remaining. The global Giraffe population has fallen by up to 40 per cent in the last 30 years; as a result of poaching for bush meat and habitat encroachment.
Taronga is active in supporting the plight of Giraffes in the wild, with a well-established partnership with Biliqo-Bulesa Conservancy, one of the largest community conservancies under the umbrella of the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT). The conservancy has improved wildlife security in important animal populations including Giraffe, amongst other species, by creating a safer ground for their movement and improving rangeland health.