Baby steps as zoo has new ar­rival

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - NEWS -

FIND­ING a cute animal to gaze at is no tall or­der at Aus­tralia Zoo, but you may have to crane your neck to take in their lat­est ad­di­tion.

The zoo’s sec­ond gi­raffe calf in two months was born to mum Penny on Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 26.

“Since open­ing our African Sa­van­nah in Septem­ber 2011, we’ve wel­comed nine gi­raffes,” keeper Kat Hansen said.

“Our new­est ad­di­tion, to­gether with his fam­ily, are great am­bas­sadors for those in the wild as peo­ple from around the world can see them and learn about how we can save them.”

Ms Hansen said gi­raffe pop­u­la­tions had re­duced by more than 40 per cent in the past 30 years and there was now less than 100,000 in the wild, mean­ing they have been re­classed as vul­ner­a­ble to ex­tinc­tion.

Robert Ir­win said it was ex­cit­ing wel­com­ing new an­i­mals to the fam­ily.

“Gi­raffes re­ally are in­cred­i­ble an­i­mals. When they’re born they stand up and start walk­ing within an hour, they’re al­ready roughly two me­tres tall and they can weigh 60kg,” he said.

“This male calf will prob­a­bly grow to be more than 5.5m tall and we can’t wait to see that hap­pen.”

As for the lit­tle guy’s name, this hon­our will be be­stowed on the high­est bid­der at the Steve Ir­win Gala Din­ner, to be held in Bris­bane on Satur­day, Novem­ber 10.

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