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'I love Siberian women, they are incredible'
French actress Carole Bouquet, 2014

Siberia celebrates birth of first giraffe in zoo

By Anna Liesowska
23 October 2014

Calf born at Royev Ruchey Krasnoyarsk, but next few days critical as she faces battle for survival.

Zoologists hope they can nurture the calf with advice from the UK, Tanzania, Germany and Ukraine. Picture: Royev Ruchei

It is a region better known for its tigers and bears, but now Siberia has given birth to its first ever giraffe. The calf came into the world at Royev Ruchey Zoo, in Krasnoyarsk, but she is anything but little, standing about 5ft tall and weighing 50kg.

Sadly, though, she is already facing a battle for survival, having been abandoned by her mother, Princess, at birth and is now relying on park staff to keep her alive.

Experts at the zoo are in communication with veterinarians from around the world for help in ensuring attempts at feeding the giraffe by hand are successful.

Two previous bids at artificially feeding giraffes in Russia have failed, but Siberian zoologists hope they can nurture the calf with specialist advice from the UK, Tanzania, Germany and Ukraine.

Signs that all was not well started soon after the calf was born on October 19, following a two-hour labour.

Siberia celebrates birth of first giraffe in zoo Siberia celebrates birth of first giraffe in zoo


Siberia celebrates birth of first giraffe in zoo

Zoo staff have been giving the baby giraffe a mixture of milk and quail eggs every three hours. Pictures: Royev Ruchei

Oleg Kokarev, the head of the Ungulate Department, said:'When we saw that Princess was ready to give birth, we closed the exhibition to visitors and limited the access of workers to the giraffes. 'We also installed additional cameras, and zoologists were on duty near the enclosure day and night, so as not to miss the moment of the appearance of the baby.

'On the baby’s first attempt to capture the calf teats, the female walked away. This was repeated several times. It became clear that she would not feed the baby.

'Princess began to behave aggressively and scare the calf. To eliminate the possibility of injury to the female calf, it was decided to separate it and feed artificially'.

Siberia celebrates birth of first giraffe in zoo Siberia celebrates birth of first giraffe in zoo


Siberia celebrates birth of first giraffe in zoo

'We are doing all we can to make sure all goes well for baby giraffe'. Pictures: Royev Ruchei

Zoo staff have been giving the baby giraffe a mixture of milk and quail eggs every three hours, as well as vitamins and other substances to strengthen her bone, cartilage, and immune system. Mr Kokarev said: 'The mother does not show interest in it, but a second female, Fekla, and the calf’s dad, Bayterek, are closely watching the baby, licking it through the lattice fence'.

Zoologists in Royev Ruchey have been working with experts in St Petersburg in Alma-Ata, in Kazakhstan, since they learned Princess was pregnant.

St Petersburg Zoo has extensive experience in handling the birth of giraffes, with 18 born in recent years, while Alma-Ata has witnessed a total of eight births.

Siberia celebrates birth of first giraffe in zoo

Comments (1)

"Isn't she "Lovely"!
jojnjo, Dublin
24/10/2014 09:07
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