A healthy female giraffe calf has been born at Perth Zoo.
The calf was born to experienced mother Kitoto at 11:37am this morning after a two-and half-hour labour. Both Mum and calf are doing well and were bonding behind the scenes in the giraffe nursery.
Straight after birth, Mum was seen licking and grooming her new calf and she was standing and testing her wobbly legs approximately 30 minutes later.
This is the third calf born to Kitoto and bull, Armani, as part of a coordinated effort by Australian zoos to breed these majestic creatures to help fight extinction.
Kitoto was brought to Perth Zoo from Sydney's Taronga Zoo in 2016 to help expand the genetics within the regional zoological breeding program.
Perth Zoo’s other adult female giraffe, Ellie, is also pregnant and due to give birth in October.
Giraffe numbers in the wild have suffered a 40 per cent population decline in the last 30 years, making zoo breeding efforts more important than ever before.
For the next few weeks, the giraffe herd will spend time bonding with their infant, who stands at 180 centimetres and weighs 55 kilograms.
Comments attributed to Premier and Mark McGowan:
“Perth Zoo are experts at breeding and caring for giraffe and this birth is a testament to the expertise of their zoologists.
“This new arrival is part of an effort by Australian and New Zealand zoos to coordinate giraffe breeding to help reverse species decline.
“With fewer than 80,000 giraffe roaming the African Plains, every calf born is important, this new arrival is a cause for celebration for all West Australians."
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
“The birth of the giraffe calf at Perth Zoo is an exciting wildlife conservation achievement which speaks to the success of their breeding program.
“Congratulations Kitoto, Armani and to all those involved at Perth Zoo.
“Just like any family, the arrival of a newborn is a momentous event and the giraffe herd will need some time to bond with the calf before they introduce their bundle of joy to Zoo visitors.
“I encourage everyone to stay tuned to Perth Zoo’s social media channels where the Zoo team will provide regular updates over the next few days.”