‘Baby giraffe’ born in Bellewaerde: a male of 1.75 meters (Ypres)

‘Baby giraffe’ born in Bellewaerde: a male of 1.75 meters (Ypres)
‘Baby giraffe’ born in Bellewaerde: a male of 1.75 meters (Ypres)

The ‘baby giraffe’ was born on April 1 and that’s no joke. “The giraffe calf was born last Monday evening around 9:10 p.m.,” says Filip Van Dorpe, the marketing director of Ypres Bellewaerde Park. “The birth went smoothly and both the mother and the cub are doing well.”

(Read more below the photo)

© Bellewaerde Park

READ ALSO. Endangered giraffe Safiya is pregnant and is being monitored with a new device: “This is insurance for a zoo”

It is a male. “He weighs 58.3 kilograms and measures 175 centimeters. You can possibly visit today.”

At 6 p.m. the legs started squeaking and three hours later the time had come. The birth, which takes place with the mother standing upright, went smoothly and naturally. Giraffe Kamala (Safiya’s sister) and giraffe Zuri also followed the birth closely. Zuri is not unfamiliar with childbirth, as she has already seen it up close in her previous stay. Zuri went to Safiya during the birth to suck her udder. An encouraging gesture that calmed her down during the birth. (Read more below the photo)

The giraffe's birth went smoothly.

The giraffe’s birth went smoothly. — © ptb

Once the giraffe was born, the other giraffes were eventually moved to their stable so that mother Safiya could meet her young in peace. Both are doing very well. Giraffe Safiya occasionally licks her cub and shows a protective attitude. Safiya and Kamala were also born in Bellewaerde Park. Safiya was bottle-fed, which increased the chance that she would not nurse her own young. Surprisingly, she still showed her maternal instincts and the zookeepers noticed that the bull calf drinks easily from its mother. “A hopeful sign,” says Pieter Vercruysse, head zookeeper. (Read more below the photo)

© ptb

“For us this is a boost after the tragedy with the lions. The caregivers watched with fear. Aunt Kamala and mom Safiya were both rejected by their mothers. So they did not experience that learning process, but Safiya did everything very well. It was about fifteen years ago that caregivers in Bellewaerde did not have to help with the bottle to help the calf suckle.”

European breeding program

Mother Safiya is one of the endangered Rothschild giraffes. Together with several other giraffes, she forms a breeding group in Bellewaerde Park to preserve the species. There are only 1,400 rock turtle giraffes in the wild and 429 in zoos (which are members of EAZA), making them a rare species. That is why birth promotes EAZA’s European breeding program, in which Bellewaerde Park actively participates. In total, Bellewaerde Park now has a breeding group of five giraffes: Dumisani (4.5 years), Kamala (3 years), Zuri (3 years), Safiya (4.5 years) and the brand new calf.

Visitors choose name

The male giraffe does not yet have a name. Bellewaerde Park subscribers may propose the name of the new giraffe. The zookeepers will make a selection from all entries and decide on the final name. There is only one rule: it must be an African name as the animals in Bellewaerde Park are always named after their area of ​​origin. The winner of the chosen name can admire the youngster behind the scenes.

Renewed giraffe enclosure

Last year, the giraffe enclosure was completely renovated and expanded, providing enough space for a large herd of giraffes. The outdoor enclosure was expanded and the indoor stables were completely renovated, including a sand stable (unique in Belgium), which promotes the giraffe’s sleeping behavior and hoof condition. (Read more below the photo)

© ptb

The calf is immediately visible to visitors through the window of the stable at the opening tomorrow (Wednesday). “There will always be a caregiver at the window to ensure peace and serenity.”

© Bellewaerde Park

© Bellewaerde Park

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Baby giraffe born Bellewaerde male meters Ypres


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