Rare giraffes on New Year’s Eve, one survives
New Year’s Eve delight was tinged with sadness for Auckland Zoo staff after they welcomed extremely rare twin giraffes.
One of the prematurely born twins, a male, had to be euthanised on Monday.
He couldn’t suckle or function independently and did not form a bond with mum Kiraka.
Mammal curator Warren Spencer said that despite the ‘‘great efforts of all involved, the male’s post-birth complications became untreatable.’’
‘‘We took the very difficult decision on welfare grounds to euthanise the young male,’’ Spencer added.
After pregnancies of 15 months, giraffes are born by dropping more than two metres with the mother standing up.
They’re usually able to stand up and nurse within 30 minutes after birth, but the male was unable to do this.
Despite being born about 12 days prematurely, things are looking better for the female calf with her seven-year-old mother Kiraka, Spencer said.
‘‘She has developed a strong bond with her mother.
‘‘And we are optimistic for the days ahead.’’
Twin giraffe births are extremely rare with a little over 30 documented cases worldwide, Auckland Zoo said.
The zoo now has two male and three female giraffes.
Auckland Zoo’s Nat Sullivan with one of two newborn giraffes. The female newborn giraffe survived but the male had to be put down.