The wardens in Fota Wildlife Park in Cork are introducing not one but two new giraffe to the park this week, with the arrival of the an 18ft Czech called Walder via Cumbria and the birth of a yet to be named calf.
Walder who is now the tallest Giraffe at the park is ten years old, he arrived a month ago from South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Cumbria and has been gradually introduced to the rest of his new family including the new baby. Speaking about the new additions Director of the Park Sean McKeown added "the two new additions will bring the number of Rothschild Giraffe at the park to 9 which is a big herd for a wildlife park given their endangered status in the wild and the fact that we have a new male born here is fantastic news".
The new baby was born on the 11th of March to mother Sapphire who originally came to the park from Scotland and father Tadgh who had reigned as the tallest Giraffe in the park until Walder arrived. Mr McKeown is so far happy with his progress, "it can be very tough for giraffes to give birth and then subsequently handle the baby afterwards but in this case we are very happy that he has been suckling away from his mother and now is running around the place enjoying the current sunny spell".
Sapphire had carried the not so little giraffe who is nearly 6ft for an incredible 15 months and like all giraffe mothers, gave birth to him whilst standing. This meant that the first experience he had was a 6ft drop to the ground.
To celebrate his arrival Fota Wildlife Park want people to suggest names for him and enter a competition to win a VIP Day at the park and a conservation membership. To do this they will have to go to the award winning website www.fotawildlife.ie, the only catch is the wardens at the park like to name the Cork born giraffes with Irish names and are therefore looking to continue that tradition.
The last giraffe calf born in the park was Aoife who is celebrating her first Birthday this week and will be delighted with somebody her own age after her 2 year old brother Finn left for Belfast Zoo last month. Finn's departure opened the door for Walder to come in from South lakes having originally been born in the Czech Republic and now is hoping to make Fota his permanent residence and help with future breeding at the park.
The park are expecting a lot more baby's next week but of the human kind as they are putting on the inaugural Oh Baby Show at the park to celebrate mother's day. The event is set to be a fantastic experience with entertainment, trade stands, pregnancy & parenting seminars and product demos on Saturday & Sunday April 2nd & 3rd.
We are now looking to name the new baby Giraffe so to be in with a chance to win a family pass to the park just clink on the link below and suggest a name for the baby.