As you are aware, we welcomed another giraffe calf, a male, into our family on Saturday 2 October.
He was born to first time mother, Ellie, who has been experiencing difficulties nursing her calf.
Over the last week, our team of zoologists and vets have been monitoring our nervous new Mum, but unfortunately, Ellie has not taken easily to motherhood, moving away when the calf tries to suckle.
Our main priority has been to make sure the calf has been receiving enough nutrients and remains strong and healthy.
With Ellie struggling we attempted to introduce the male calf to Kitoto, our other adult lactating female, to see if she would take him on as a surrogate. However, ‘Totes’ did not accept him as her own.
Without human support and supplementary feeding this little giraffe would not survive. Therefore, the decision has been made to hand rear the calf.
This is a massive undertaking, but not uncommon and has been successfully done previously at Perth Zoo and at other zoos throughout Australia. Although it is not our preferred outcome (mother reared is always best), it is something we prepare for before every giraffe birth in case we need to step in and assist.
It took a couple of days for him to get used to the bottle, but our expert zoologists are now feeding the infant multiple times a day with a specialised formula.
If you’d like to show your love you may wish to consider a virtual giraffe adoption package.