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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Back on her feet, baby Clodagh joins the Fota herd

Danielle Stephens

Published 23/08/2014 | 02:30

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Clodagh, a two-month old giraffe calf at Fota Wildlife Park. Photo: Neil Danton
Director of Dublin Zoo Leo Oosterweghel and Lord Mayor Christy Burke observing the elephants at the announcement of the arrival of a second Asian elephant in Dublin Zoo. Picture: Photocall

CLODAGH the baby giraffe is standing tall again after a traumatic birth during which she suffered a broken leg.

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Staff at Fota Wildlife Park are celebrating the new arrival's speedy recovery - while at Dublin Zoo, a new baby elephant was welcomed.

Clodagh was running with the other Rothschild giraffes in the Fota savannah space for the first time yesterday, two weeks after having a cast removed.

The baby giraffe was born on June 22 to first-time mother Aoife and father Walder.

However, birth can be a dangerous time for baby giraffes given their size, and the distance they sometimes drop.

Clodagh sustained a broken leg during her delivery which, for giraffes just like horses, can prove a life-threatening injury.

Lead warden at Fota Wildlife Park Aidan Rafferty explained that the young female is doing better than everyone expected.

"She has made a fantastic recovery having only been taken out of the cast over two weeks ago - and it is great to see her so active today with the other giraffes," he said.

Meanwhile the elephant family at Dublin Zoo just keeps on growing. A second Asian elephant calf was born in the Kaziranga Forest Trail on Tuesday August 19, to first-time mum Anak, and dad Upali.

The male calf, which weighs 70kg, is the second of three elephants expected to be born over the summer months, as staff now waits for the third to arrive in the next few weeks.

The director of Dublin Zoo, Leo Oosterweghel, said it has been an "extraordinary" couple of months for the elephant herd.

"It doesn't get any better than this - soon we'll have three calves at Dublin Zoo, which is unheard of."

The newest addition to the elephant family will act as play mate to a calf which was born to mum Yasmin five weeks ago.

Dublin Zoo has seen a significant baby boom and arrivals include a baby tapir, two meerkat pups, an Asian lion cub, flamingo chicks and two red panda cubs.

Irish Independent

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