5 Aug 2013

Female giraffe born at Auckland Zoo

12:30 pm on 5 August 2013

There is a new arrival at Auckland Zoo. A female giraffe was born on Saturday morning after three hours labour.

Auckland Zoo's new female giraffe with her mother.

Auckland Zoo's new female giraffe with her mother. Photo: Auckland Zoo

The zoo says the calf, which is 1.7 metres, was standing within half an hour of birth, and drinking a minute later.

"Rukiya really took us by surprise this time,'' said keeper Kathryn McKee, who has been present for all five of Rukiya's births.

''She was incredibly relaxed the day before the birth and right up until she started going into labour, and gave us none of the usual and obvious signs she was ready for action.

''She also stayed amazingly calm throughout the labour - which was significantly shorter than her others and by far the easiest and most relaxed," Ms McKee said.

Auckland Zoo said Rukiya and her calf will be gradually integrated with the rest of the giraffe herd, zebra and ostrich in the giraffe paddock in Pridelands over the next month.