Safari park welcomes baby giraffe

Arusha with her baby
Arusha's latest calf is her fourth, which keepers have described as "incredibly important" [West Midlands Safari Park]

West Midlands Safari Park has welcomed the arrival of a baby giraffe, one of four new arrivals in the last two weeks.

The park's Rothschild’s giraffe, Arusha, gave birth to the 6ft-tall (2m) baby boy on 29 May, with the special moment being captured on CCTV.

After a gestation period of 15 months, keepers were ready for the birth and ensured that the giraffe house floor was covered with sand for a soft landing.

Deputy head keeper of ungulates Ian Nock, said: "This is her fourth calf and incredibly important for giraffe conservation."

The International Union for Conservation of Nature recognises giraffes as a "vulnerable" species, which is largely down to poaching and habitat loss.

Mr Nock added: "Arusha is a very attentive mother, and both are doing perfectly.

"Once the calf is ready, we shall start introducing mother and calf to the rest of the herd, including dad, Rufus and brother, Kingsley.

"This important birth increases our herd to 11. It has definitely been something of a baby boom."

CCTV image of the mother and baby soon after birth
Keepers made sure the giraffe house floor was covered with sand for a soft landing [West Midlands Safari Park]

It comes after the birth of two endangered barasingha fawns and just before the birth of a blesbok calf - the first in the park’s history.

"We’ve named the blesbok calf Merlin and he is sticking very close to mum, Pebbles, who is proving to be an excellent first-time mother," said Mr Nock.

"The barasingha fawns can often be seen playing together which is lovely for us all to see."

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