VIDEO: Baby giraffe born at Australia Zoo

By Jared Richards 18 May 2016
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Sally the giraffe gave birth to a healthy female calf on Tuesday, her second in two years.

YESTERDAY, SALLY THE giraffe gave birth to her second baby, a healthy female calf, at Australia Zoo in Queensland.

The yet-to-be-named calf was born on Tuesday, 17 May at 12.15pm, measuring just under 2m tall. It is the fourth giraffe born at Australia Zoo in two years, joining sister Tulip (born in July 2014) and half-sisters Skye (born October 2013) and Lily (born August 2014).

The calf first fed from Sally about an hour after birth.

A giraffe’s gestation period is 15 months, so Australia Zoo’s cameras have been patiently waiting to capture the moment Sally’s baby came into the world. In the footage, the calf drops from a pacing Sally and seconds later, it sits up: an hour after being born, she took her first steps.

The baby was born almost 2m tall.

The baby calf is a welcome sign for Australia Zoo’s giraffe breeding program. While not yet endangered, the wild giraffe population throughout Africa has dropped dramatically due to habitat loss and excessive poaching. In 2014, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation estimated the giraffe population had decreased 40 per cent since 1999 from approximately 140,000 to 80,000.

For now, Sally and her new-born daughter will spend some time resting away from the public eye to ensure they bond naturally. Judging by these photos, they’re off to a good start.