A rare baby giraffe branded a “special new arrival” has been captured falling six feet to the ground after birth, in dramatic footage at Chester zoo.
The young calf’s mother Orla, a highly endangered Rothschild’s giraffe gave birth after two and a half hours of labour at 3am on Wednesday May 8.
CCTV footage showed the moment the baby fell onto the straw below, and wobbled as he got to his feet to meet his two-month-old brother Mburo.
Sarah Roffe, Giraffe team manager at the zoo, said: “When you’re the world’s tallest land mammal, your entry into the world is a long one, and not always very graceful.
“But since giraffes give birth standing up, a calf starts off its life with a drop of up to two metres to the ground. This fall breaks the umbilical cord helps to stimulate its first breath.
“Following the birth, Orla’s calf was then on its feet within 30 minutes, and is already towering above most of the keepers at nearly six feet tall.
“It’s so far looking strong and healthy and is another special new arrival, coming hot on the hooves of Mburo who was born just eight weeks ago.
“Mburo was clearly highly interested in the new thing that had landed near to him. Seeing the two young calves together is wonderful.”
Rothschild’s giraffes are under a threat of extinction, with fewer than 2,650 in the wild.
Around one-third of the surviving population of Rothschild’s giraffes live in zoos, where carefully coordinated breeding programmes create a safety net for the population.
The species can be identified by its broader dividing white lines and has no spots between the knees.