Announce the birth of a baby Giraffeon June 5, 2012
On June 3rd we became proud parents of a baby giraffe. He was born at 4pm near the Boma at The Falls Resort. Mother and baby are doing well. This is our second giraffe baby at The Falls Resort; the newcomer’s sister, called Shungu, is now 3 years old and almost as tall as her mother.
We were rather concerned about our baby at first. He spent the night with his mother near the river and it was very cold. When we came to see him in the morning he was still lying down and we knew that the cold had got right through him. We called in the experts, who decided to intervene a little and got some towels and slowly approached him; we didn’t want to upset mum. We rubbed him all over to warm him up and eventually he got to his feet and wobbled after mum who took him into the sunshine.
At first mum and baby were alone but then father and sister giraffe wanted to come and investigate. Father giraffe was being rather heavy handed, or should I say, heavy footed, with his new son and we were worried that the baby might get hurt. For some hours Webster, our Dr Doolittle in charge of the animals, kept the other giraffes away to give the baby a chance to become steadier on his feet.
Webster had a wheelbarrow with him and every time father or sister giraffe got too close to the baby he walked towards them rattling the wheelbarrow on the stony ground. They got the hint and kept away. The giraffe all know Webster – he is their friend and ally as he often arrives with food. They did keep their distance but you could see them eyeing the newcomer all the time.
Finally Webster decided that it was time to let the others come close and greet the new family member. Carefully dad approached, bent his long neck and smelled his son. Sister came too and did the same. Then altogether the family walked off through the trees.
Webster, always protective of his charges, followed them. He thought that all would be well because the mother looked quite relaxed. Nevertheless, as I left the scene, I saw Webster pushing his wheelbarrow at the rear of the family group and I knew he would watch his new charge until it got dark.