Keepers and staff at Port Lympne Reserve, Kent’s largest wild animal park, have welcomed a critically endangered female Rothschild giraffe calf - the first to be born at the Reserve, near Ashford for eight years.
Animal Manager, Simon Jeffery said: ‘We are absolutely over the moon to welcome this lovely calf. We’ve all been waiting anxiously for her arrival and managed to capture the ‘first moments’ on CCTV. Watching the footage back, we can see that the little one was trying to stand up shortly after birth, just as she would in the wild.’
The calf, born on Tuesday 26th July at around 10:00pm to first time parents, Valentino and Lunar, is still finding her feet, although the plucky youngster has already been spotted, stepping out to explore the outdoor yard of her enclosure, seen here.
Victoria Snook, African Experience Keeper added: ‘This is Lunar’s first calf and stands at a leggy five feet tall! Although it’s early days, she is suckling well and already starting to explore, under the watchful eyes of her Mum Lunar and Auntie, Lehana.’
Rothschild giraffe are critically endangered and it is estimated that only approximately 750 individuals remain in the wild. Port Lympne Reserve are part of a European breeding programme, designed to save the species.
Adrian Harland, Animal Director commented: ‘We are privileged to be part of such an important breeding programme. Conservation of endangered species is at the core of what we do and this fabulous little female will have a vital role to play in the future.’
Visitors to the popular visitor attraction this summer holidays may be able to catch a glimpse of the leggy calf, as they journey out to the African Experience on one of the specially adapted safari trucks.