New babies on the way on World Giraffe Day

New babies on the way on World Giraffe Day

Posted on 20th June 2024 by Media Relations

Baby giraffes on the way
Baby giraffes on the way

New babies on the way on World Giraffe Day

It’s a tall order at Taronga Western Plains Zoo where Giraffe Keepers are preparing to welcome up to six new additions before the end of 2024.

The Zoo has announced the news on World Giraffe Day, and Keeper Glyn Avery said as many as six females are pregnant in the Zoo’s Giraffe breeding herd, or ‘tower’, with calves expected to hit the ground around spring.

“We don’t have an exact due date for these babies, but Giraffe gestation usually lasts for about 15 months, so based on our observations of courtship and mating behaviours, we estimate these calves will arrive from about September,” Glyn said.

“We are now starting to see some of those physical changes you’d expect to see in the females, like mammary development and the size of their bellies, so that’s really exciting!”

The Zoo has made a significant contribution to the regional conservation breeding program for Giraffe, welcoming 60 calves since 1990.

These animals serve as an important insurance population for their wild counterparts in Africa, whose numbers have declined by about 40 per cent since the 1980s.

The main threats facing Giraffe in the wild include poaching, habitat loss and degradation, human population growth, disease, war and civil unrest.

“Giraffes are victims of what we call a silent extinction,” Glyn said.

“Sadly, in the three decades that we have been breeding giraffes here at Dubbo, their population in Africa has declined by more than 40 per cent and there are now only about 115,000 giraffes left in the wild.

“Giraffes are now extinct in 7 African countries where they once roamed, which has left them very vulnerable.

“This just underscores the importance of our breeding programs, which can only run with the support of our guests.”

Taronga has partnered with the Northern Rangeland Trust (NRT) to sell Beads for Wildlife, an initiative that empowers women in Northern Kenya to earn a living through traditional skills, and reduces communities’ reliance on livestock which compete with wildlife like Giraffes for resources.

Taronga also supports rangers in the Biliqo-Bulesa conservancy of the NRT in Kenya; rangers who are on the frontline carrying out anti-poaching activities and wildlife monitoring.

Visitors to Taronga Western Plains Zoo can make a difference for species like Giraffe simply by visiting the Zoo, staying overnight, or buying a gift or encounter.

“Taronga is not-for-profit, so every dollar you spend here at the Zoo has the power to protect wildlife,” Glyn said.

Learn more and come face-to-face with giraffes during the daily Giraffe Encounter at Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Cost is in addition to Zoo entry and bookings are essential:

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is open 8.30am-4pm daily, with tickets valid for two consecutive days. For more information about planning a visit to Taronga Western Plains Zoo, or to purchase tickets online, visit