Six-foot baby? You're havin' a giraffe
Keepers say that male calf is 'beautiful, healthy and strong'
Published 20/05/2011 | 05:00
Dublin Zoo has a new baby -- and it is already 6ft tall.
The new born male giraffe, who is yet to be named, arrived on Monday morning, tipping the scales at 40kg.
The healthy youngster will make his first public appearance in the African Savannah section of the zoo tomorrow to celebrate Africa Day.
The calf joins mother Hailey, father Robin and sister Kuliko along with the five other giraffes in the herd.
Zookeepers are running a competition to name the new arrival. Members of the public are invited to submit their proposals on Dublin Zoo's Facebook page.
"He is a beautiful strong and healthy calf," said Helen Clarke-Bennett, team leader of the African plains.
"He is much paler than his sister, Kuliko, with splashes of black hair from his knees to his feet.
"Hailey is an experienced mother and is bonding well with her newborn."
The zoo is currently part of the European Breeding Programme and the new calf is the sixth giraffe to be born in Dublin since 2007.
There has been a baby boom at the zoo in the last few months. In March, a western lowland gorilla was born and zookeepers are still pondering over names for him.
Last December the zoo welcomed a rhino, named Zukeri. The birth was a success for the zoo as it was the first male southern white rhino born from newly imported stock.
And the good news doesn't stop there, as there are more babies on the way -- the birth of a white-naped mangabey monkey is expected by the end of this month.
Tomorrow is Africa Day at the zoo and activities will include traditional African music and dance, drumming workshops and face painting.
Dublin Zoo is offering half price entry of €5.25 for children throughout the day.