Despite being a first time mother, Kitoto did an amazing job, her labour was textbook, with her mothering instincts kicking in instantly. Our expert Zoo keeping staff assisted the calf to stand about one hour after birth and we were elated when she started suckling, ensuring she got the colostrum and vital nutrients from Kitoto’s milk. The Life Sciences and Veterinary teams have been monitoring the herd closely overnight and this morning the calf is doing exceptionally well, strong and alert.
To cause the least disturbance for Kitoto whilst she was in labour, the keepers and vets watched via remote CCTV monitors installed in preparation for the birth. We will share some of that vision with you soon.
We have not had a giraffe calf born at Perth Zoo since 2012 and since Kitoto is a first time mother we are giving her and the calf time in the nightquarters to bond. We will then start slowly introducing them to the exhibit in the coming days and look forward to everyone being able to see our precious new arrival.
Eight-year-old Kitoto came to Perth Zoo in December 2016 to be introduced to Armani, as part of the Australasian Giraffe Breeding program. Giraffe numbers in the wild have had a dramatic decline of 40% in the last 30 years, there are now less than 80,000 of them roaming the African plains! This makes every giraffe birth in the regional breeding program vitally important and we are very proud to play a part in this.
The whole Perth Zoo family are very excited about the safe arrival of this precious new addition who will help safeguard a future for her species.
We will continue to share updates with you via our website and Zoo’s Facebook page.