Dagmar gave birth to the adorable youngster at Chester Zoo (Image: CHESTER ZOO)
Dagmar gave birth to the adorable youngster at Chester Zoo on Tuesday morning in what has been dubbed an “incredibly special” moment. Giraffe experts at the zoo monitored the three-and-half-hour labour live on camera as Dagmar dropped her new calf six feet to the floor, landing on a bed of soft straw. The healthy male youngster, who is yet to be named, was then up on his feet and suckling for the first time just over an hour later. Sarah Roffe, Giraffe Team Manager at the zoo, said: “When a giraffe mum drops her calf to the floor it can look a little dramatic – but it’s not such a long drop when the baby is six foot tall. Nevertheless, to see the birth and the very first steps of an animal as rare as the Rothschild’s giraffe is an incredibly special thing.
“Dagmar is so far being the model mum. She’s staying close to her calf and letting him suckle, which of course is vital in these early few days. The milk is filled with important nutrients like colostrum, which will help the little one to grow and reinforce an inseparable bond between mum and baby.
“This new arrival is a special addition to the international breeding programme for this endangered species, which is working to boost numbers in zoos and safeguard its future.”
Mother and calf are Rothschild’s giraffes and highly threatened in the wild. In recent decades they have suffered a disturbing 90 percent decline in numbers, making them one of the world’s most at-risk mammals.
Estimates indicate that there are fewer than 2,650 that now remain across Africa.
Conservationists from the zoo are currently working in Uganda as part of a vital project to protect Rothschild’s giraffes in the wild.
The news comes amid news April the giraffe from the US could give birth any moment.
Dagmar dropped her new calf six feet to the floor (Image: CHESTER ZOO)
In their latest pregnancy update, April’s carers at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York, said the giraffe is keeping everyone “on edge” as she shows good signs of development.
She is due this month but the approximate date is not known.
April is regularly lifting her tail, followed by “thick discharge” and her calf is clearly repositioning inside April’s belly.
The pregnant giraffe is expected to give birth sometime before the end of March but keepers admit they have been wrong in the past.
Animal Adventure Park posted on Facebook: “Calf tonight? I don’t think so – but hey – I’ve been wrong before!”
The livestream sensation is now being intently watched by tens of thousands of people around the globe who tune in to YouTube on a daily basis.