The giraffe herd at Monarto Safari Park has grown by one, with five-year-old Scarlett delivering her second calf last Friday.
The calf, measuring about 1.8 metres tall, was up and about quickly after being born. Lucky visitors watched on as her mother began bonding with the not-so-little one immediately. Monarto animal keepers said the calf has joined the herd really well, as she has already begun approaching and saying hello to keepers and visitors alike.
Monarto is known as the most successful giraffe breeding institution in Australasia, with 52 calves born within the park since 1995. There are currently 20 giraffes in the safari park, split between a ‘bachelor group’ of bulls in an off-limits area, and the remaining giraffes roaming their understandably large enclosure.
The mother, Scarlett, has been keeping a close eye on the new arrival. Visitors have seen the gentle giant staying close to her child, keeping an ever-vigilant watch over the wobbly baby. The birth of the new calf has coincided with the return of Scarlett’s first-born, Azizi, to Monarto. Azizi has returned to the Monarto herd two weeks ago after spending a year over at Adelaide Zoo.
While Monarto has a successful record with their breeding program, giraffes are classified as a vulnerable species, with some subspecies being listed as endangered or critically endangered. It is estimated only around 68,000 still roaming their natural habitats. This number is declining due to human population growth and increasing urbanisation, shrinking their habitats even further. However, successful breeding programs and increasing global awareness means the future looks bright for the one-of-a-kind creatures.
For the new Monarto calf, visitors will be able to help Zoos SA choose the calf’s name in an upcoming naming competition. The results will be announced on the 21st of June, aptly on World Giraffe Day.
Stayed tuned to the Monarto Safari Park Facebook page here for the result.