SA giraffe calf to be hand-raised

Vets and keepers have been forced to step in to ensure the survival of a newborn giraffe at South Australia's Monarto Safari Park after his mother failed to feed him.

The calf was born on Thursday to 17-year-old mum Thula.

While initial signs of bonding between mum and her calf were promising, it became apparent to park officials that the newborn had not been fed come Friday morning, prompting a decision to move him to Adelaide Zoo where he will be hand-raised.

Senior keeper Mark Mills said while the male calf looked healthy, it was vital a newborn received nutrients from its mother within the first 48 hours.

"Our keeping team monitored him after birth and he looked healthy and strong but unfortunately Thula had not fed him by this morning," he said.

"Over the weekend we have extremely hot weather forecast, and it was crucial that we made a quick and timely decision to give the little guy every opportunity for a successful long-term outcome.

"Thula has mis-mothered calves previously, but we have had a number of successful outcomes over the past year with the giraffe in this herd. We wanted to give her another chance to be a mum."

Adelaide Zoo curator Deb Barry said the move from Monarto to Adelaide went smoothly and the calf was doing well.

"Our keepers will be monitoring him around the clock and begin feeding him with the important nutrients he needs as a newborn," she said.

"Our two female giraffes, Kimya and Nolean, were very curious and interested in their new friend and it is lovely because he is Nolean's full brother, born to the same parents."

The calf will not be visible to the public initially as he settles in and is monitored by keepers.

As a male, his long-term future, whether he stays in SA or is moved to another location, will be determined in consultation with the national giraffe species co-ordinator.