Baby giraffe joins herd at Dubbo Zoo

·1-min read

A visitor to Taronga Western Plains Zoo was the first to realise there was a new arrival in the giraffe enclosure.

Zookeepers were about to finish up at Dubbo Zoo on Saturday afternoon when a guest alerted the front desk that a giraffe calf had arrived without fanfare.

Giraffe keeper Bobby-Jo Vial says keepers arrived in time to see mother Mvita nudge the newborn male calf to encourage him to stand up on his wobbly legs.

"It's always a privilege to see a newborn calf find its feet, suckle for the first time and meet the herd," she said.

Keepers have named the calf Wayo, which means "footprint" in Swahili.

He will be a playmate for a female calf who arrived just a month ago.

"Four-week-old calf Matata was very interested in the herd's newest member and was quick to come over and give the new calf a sniff," Ms Vial said.

The two calves are already roaming the paddock with the rest of the herd and can be seen suckling from their mothers Mvita and Ntombi.

Giraffe numbers have been declining in the wild over the past decade due to habitat encroachment, snares, civil unrest and poaching.

The wild population is estimated at less than 117, 000, a decline of 40 per cent over 30 years.

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