Singapore Zoo's first baby giraffe in 28 years makes debut

Singapore Zoo's first baby giraffe in 28 years makes debut
PHOTO: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

SINGAPORE - At 1.9m tall when it was born, the Singapore Zoo's latest addition, an adorable baby giraffe, is the tallest 'SG50 baby' to be born this year.

The calf, which was born on Aug 31 and is the zoo's first in 28 years, made its official debut in the zoo's giraffe exhibit on Thursday, Nov 12, the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) said in a release.

According to WRS, the calf is the first born to mum Roni and dad Growie, both of which arrived in the Singapore Zoo in 2005 from Israel and the Netherlands respectively.

The yet-to-be-named calf now stands at 2.3m tall.

WRS said that the calf and the mother were kept separate from the rest of the giraffe herd during its first month. This was to ensure that the calf was nursing properly, and also because zookeepers needed time to baby-proof the exhibit as a safety precaution.

Mother and child were gradually reintroduced to the two other giraffes in the herd, the calf's father Growie and another female named Lucy, through a conditioning process that took nearly three weeks.

"All four are now comfortably sharing the exhibit and can be regularly seen grooming each other to strengthen their bonds," WRS said.

The calf can now be seen nibbling on leaves and chopped vegetables such as carrots. It now spends its days exploring and running around in the exhibit, and is now beginning to get used to the passing trams and visitors.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Sciences Officer with WRS, said: "Animal babies are always a cause for celebration as they are a good indication that the animals under our care feel comfortable and secure enough to breed in the environment that we've created for them."

"We hope the calf will tug at visitors' heartstrings and inspire them to find out more about giraffes, and other animals that thrive in the same environment as these majestic creatures," he added.

WRS said that there are plans to conduct a naming contest for the baby giraffe soon, and visitors to the zoo are encouraged to take photos of the new addition and upload them with the hashtag #sg50babygiraffe.

Visitors can follow updates on the baby giraffe's development at www.zoo.com.sg/sg50babygiraffe.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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