Welcome to a not-so-little giraffe calf

We are thrilled to announce the birth of an adorable giraffe calf at Monarto Zoo.

Born at 10:45am this morning to fourth-time mum Myeisha, the calf is the first giraffe born at Monarto Zoo in eight years.

Giraffe keeper Vaughan Wilson said the not-so-little bundle of joy was thriving and settling in well with the rest of the herd in the waterhole habitat.

“The birth went really well and shortly after being born, the little one was already on its feet getting used to its long legs,” Vaughan said

“It’s feeding really well and the other females who live in the waterhole habitat are fascinated by the new arrival.

“It’s a bit like a giraffe maternity ward at Monarto Zoo at the moment, with our giraffe Kinky also expected to give birth any day now, and several more of our females expecting in the coming months.”

Classified as vulnerable to extinction in the wild, the calf is an important contribution to the breeding program working to secure the future of the world’s tallest animal, which is facing an uncertain future in the wild.

Habitat loss, poaching and civil unrest has seen giraffe numbers plummet from around 155,000 in 1985 to just 97,000 in 2015, which equates to a decline of almost 40 per cent over three giraffe generations.

This startling and devastating decline saw the giraffe reclassified as vulnerable to extinction last year by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

As a conservation charity, Zoos SA is committed to continuing our successful breeding program to ensure generations to come can enjoy the wonder of these tall, gentle creatures.

“Giraffes are in a bit of trouble in the wild, so our new little calf already has an important role to play in helping us to raise awareness for the plight of its wild cousins and will one day hopefully play an important role in our breeding program,” Vaughan said.

“It’s a really exciting time for everyone at Monarto Zoo. Of course, giraffe calves are incredibly cute so we are expecting lots of visitors to welcome the little one to the zoo.”

The arrival follows a string of breeding successes at Monarto Zoo this year, with the recent births of five Cheetah cubs, a critically endangered Addax, endangered Prsewalski’s Horse calf and a Scimitar-horned Oryx, which are extinct in the wild.

Mum, Myeisha, was born at Monarto Zoo in 2000. First time dad Tambo was born at Melbourne Zoo in 2000 and arrived at Monarto Zoo in 2002.

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Congratulations to our Chief Executive Elaine Bensted on receiving the #telstrabizwomen 'for purpose and social enterprise' award tonight.

About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to save species from extinction and connect people with nature.

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