On Saturday 4th of July Fota Wildlife Park are going to be holding a very special birthday party. Yes Finn the youngest Giraffe in the park will be one years old.
Finn was born on the 4th of July 2008 and was the cause of much celebration at Fota Wildlife Park! Roisin, his mother, had carried him for an incredible 14 month. Roisin like all giraffe mothers gave birth to Finn whilst standing and so, the first experience the little calf had was a 6ft drop to the ground!! However the park have no plans to give him any birthday bumps to remind him of the fall instead they are hosting a week of activities including storytelling, arts and crafts and talks leading up to the big birthday celebrations on Saturday afternoon. The staff in the park will be helped in the celebrations by the staff of Cork's 96fm street fleet and the VIP winners of the generation game on the Nick Richards breakfast show.
Commenting on the event the park's Marketing Manager Stephen Ryan added that "this is going to be a great day at Fota, we are all used to going to birthday parties but how many people have attended a giraffe's 1st birthday party?? The staff here are very fond of Finn so we are trying to make a big day out of it especially for him. We are getting a special birthday cake for him and getting everyone to sing happy birthday outside the giraffe house at 3.30pm. We will also be displaying all the birthday cards that the children made in the park for Finn on the day."
Finn is the youngest of a herd of Rothschild giraffe at Fota Wildlife Park, which are one of nine races of giraffe found in Africa. Exterminated from much of their former habitat, they can now be seen in western Kenya and eastern Uganda. Giraffes are the tallest land mammal. They are often called the watchtowers of the Serengeti, helping to keep track of predators. The Rothschild giraffe is taller than any other sub species. The males can grow up to 5.9m in height and are capable of attaining weights in excess of 2000kg. The giraffe is a strict herbivore eating leaves and buds from trees. It digests its food in a chambered stomach. Females give birth to a single calf after a gestation period of 15 months. A mother giraffe often gives birth while standing so that the newborn's first experience outside the womb is a 1.8 m (6 ft.) drop!
Did you know?
Giraffes can sleep standing up and only sleep for about five minutes at a time so they can remain alert for predators!! Would you believe the giraffe has the longest tail of any land mammal? A giraffe's tail can be 8 feet (2.4 meters) long, including the tuft on the end!