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Meet Raduga, Siberia’s first baby giraffe named after rainbow

By 0 and 0 and 0
27 November 2014


The first ever giraffe born in Siberia got the name - Raduga. Picture: Royev Ruchei

The first ever giraffe born in Siberia is winning her battle for survival and has finally now been given a name.

Staff at Royev Ruchey Zoo, in Krasnoyarsk, had been concerned about the future of the calf after she was rejected by her mother and required to be reared by hand.

But, after celebrating her first month birthday last week, keepers decided the time had come to ask the people of Krasnoyarsk to help choose a name for her.

More than 1,000 different names were proposed with one person suggesting 'Rouble' because it is currently 'small and weak, but there is still hope it will strengthen and grow'.

However, eventually staff opted for Raduga, which means Rainbow.

The signs are good for her now, and she has grown to a healthier 1.93metres in height with her weight now sitting at 60.5kg, having put on more than 10kg.

Writing in the zoo’s official community on the social network site Vkontakte, a spokesperson for Royev Ruchey said: 'The first born little giraffe in Siberia is growing up and putting on weight.

Little giraffe Rainbow

Little giraffe Rainbow

The signs are good for her now, and she has grown to a healthier 1.93metres in height with her weight now sitting at 60.5kg. Pictures: Royev Ruchei

'Zoologists are continuing to do everything possible to bring up her up. Now she is eating not only milk - she likes the leaves placed on the special brooms for giraffes.

'Little giraffes in nature at the age of one month begin to try something that adults eat, but they will drink milk until they are aged between nine and ten months.'

Raduga was born at the zoo on October 19, but almost immediately there were signs that all was not well following the two hour labour. Her mother, Princess, began to act aggressively towards her and she walked away from her calf after her first attempt to try and capture her teats for milk.

After it became apparent she would not feed her baby, the decision was made to separate the giraffes for safety purposes and raise the calf by hand.

Staff gave the baby giraffe a mixture of milk and quail eggs every three hours, as well as vitamins and other substances to strengthen her bones, cartilage, and immune system.

They also enlisted the assistance of global experts in a bid to keep her alive, after two previous attempts in Russia to artificially feed giraffes ended in tragedy.

Calves are reliant on their mother’s milk for up to a year, and they tend to stay close to their side for as much as 18 months before gaining their own independence.

Normally giraffe mothers are extremely protective of their offspring and will help them suckle from the moment they are born, and will even give out a powerful kick to any other animal that comes too close.

Experts are in constant communication with veterinarians from around the world, including the UK, Germany, Tanzania and Ukraine, in a bid to ensure attempts at feeding the giraffe by hand are successful.

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

The Royev Ruchey zoologists had already been working with specialists in St Petersburg and in Almaty, in Kazakhstan, after they learned Princess was pregnant.

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

It is thought there are fewer than 5,000 giraffes left in the world, down from an estimated 28,000 as recently as the late 1990s.

Last year staff at Africa Alive Zoo in Suffolk, in the UK, hand-reared a calf after it was rejected by its mother.

Comments (2)

Thank you, bella for saying that! Mother polar bears kill their young in zoos, while in the wild they thrive, sometimes having up to 4 healthy cubs. Taking animals away from their natural habitat, away from their mother and feeding it with a bottle is unnatural...these animals will live an unnatural life, it must be like being in prison for a life term. Don't visit zoos...keep animals in their natural home where they belong. Thank you!
Anndraya, Vancouver Island, Canada
08/03/2016 10:55
Giraffes do not belong in zoos, particlularly in cold places like Siberia.
Mother animals in zoos are rejecting their young, and I believe it is that they know instinctively, and from their own lives in these surroundings that the life is painful, wrong and cruel -
bella, usa
30/11/2014 13:12

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