He may only be one month-old, but Whipsnade Zoo’s newest addition is already standing tall – six feet tall to be precise.

He may only be one month-old, but Whipsnade Zoo’s newest addition is already standing tall – six feet tall to be precise.

The reticulated giraffe was born on September 30, 2012 to proud first-time parents, mum Ljuma and dad Uno, and within hours he was taking his first wobbly steps in the world.

Unnamed baby giraffeA big baby by any standards, the only way is up for the as yet unnamed calf who is growing at the rate of an inch a day and is expected to be over ten feet tall by the time of his first birthday.

Giraffe keeper Louise Jakobsen said: “The new arrival is already showing dad’s calmness and mum’s inquisitive nature. He’s very confident on his long legs now – after starting off mirroring the actions of his keepers, he soon began galloping around the paddock.

“Although he will suckle for around a year, he’s begun nibbling on leaves which we’ve put at his height so he can easily tug on them.”

Whipsnade’s new calf is extra special because when 10-year-old Uno arrived at Whipsnade last year as the zoo’s breeding male, he was slightly smaller and less muscular than the average male. But what he lacked in stature, he made up for in spirit and soon learned to ‘walk tall’ to gain the attention of the females in the paddock.

Louise added: “It’s Uno’s first baby and he has been very curious about the new arrival, showing a lot of interest in him. We keep spotting him peering over to get a better look.

“Ljuma is also doing a brilliant job as a first-time mum. She’s been showing excellent maternal instincts towards her baby and is gaining in confidence all the time.”

  • Now keepers at the zoo have called on the public to help name the baby giraffe. The choices are listed on www.zsl.org/nameagiraffe and voting closes on November 16.
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