NEWS

There's A Good Reason Australia Is Having A Giraffe Baby Boom

April who?

21/04/2017 11:17 AM AEST | Updated 21/04/2017 3:20 PM AEST

After all the attention April the giraffe has been hogging for the last few months, you would be forgiven if you hadn't heard about the birth of an adorable calf to fourth-time mum Myeisha at South Australia's Monarto Zoo.

The not-so-little bundle of joy, who is yet to be named, was born just before 11:00AM on Tuesday morning and is reportedly thriving as it settles in with the rest of the herd.

Simon Dower, Zoos SA
Welcome little one.

It won't be the only young one around though, as Monarto Zoo is quickly becoming a giraffe maternity ward that is set to welcome another calf within days, followed by even more little ones in the coming months.

It's a baby boom of a whole different kind.

Simon Dower, Zoos SA

"[O]ur giraffe Kinky [is] also expected to give birth any day now, and several more of our females expected to be in the earlier stages of pregnancy," keeper Vaughan Wilson said.

If you find yourself asking "so what, more giraffe births, they all seem to be giving birth lately -- what's the big deal?"

Well, the new addition is a big deal -- and yes, it might be just another in a string of recent births of giraffes in captivity around the world -- but its an important one that will hopefully help save the gentle giants from extinction.

Simon Dower, Zoos SA
Admittedly, this one is a bit graphic. But did you know that giraffes are welcomed into the world with a 1.5 metre fall?

Habitat loss, poaching and civil unrest have seen giraffe numbers plummet from 140,000 to a low of 80,000, leading the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to list the species as vulnerable to extinction in 2016.

This is alarming given that it is thought over 2 million giraffes once roamed the African continent as recently as 150 years ago.

"Giraffes are in a bit of trouble in the wild, so our new little calf already has an important role to play in helping us to raise awareness for the plight of its wild cousins and will one day hopefully play an important role in our breeding program," Vaughan said.

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