Paignton Zoo | Baby Giraffe
Paignton Zoo’s having a baby boom! Not only has there been an arrival of three tiger cubs but a baby Giraffe has also been born. Statham (named after tough-guy actor Jason Statham), the male calf was born to mother Janica on the morning of Thursday 19th May. Sadly, he was rejected by his mother, so zoo keepers have stepped in to bottle feed him.
At feeding time inside the compound, where the calf is being kept until he is ready to be reintroduced to the rest of the herd, visitors can observe from a viewing platform.
The baby giraffe, whose species is endangered in his native East Africa, is the main attraction.
Graceful but stubborn, he will not take a large bottle, so zoo keepers will encourage him by wetting their finger with milk and sliding it into a toothless gap in the side of his mouth. Every day he drinks more than 12 pints of gold top organic cows’ milk donated from Riverford Dairy in nearby Staverton — a tenth of his body weight. He is also given probiotics and multivitamins.
To tempt him to begin grazing, a frond of leaves — known as browse — is left to hang from the side of his pen. Occasionally he sucks at it, like a child on a gum sweet. As he starts to be weaned, dried alfalfa and pellets will be added to his diet.
To achieve all this, zoo staff arrive before dawn and stay late to ensure he gets his four daily feeds. Unlike primates, he does not need to be fed at night, which is a relief
You can find out more information at the Zoo’s web page here
If you are thinking of making a trip to see Statham the baby giraffe, take a look at our special offers here.
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