Visitors to Woburn Safari Park were stopped in their tracks as dramatic scenes surrounding the birth of a new giraffe calf unfolded.
The arrival of a Rothschild’s calf heralds another success for the breeding herd of critically endangered giraffe at the park, with the mother Frankie, delivering what was her third calf in under two hours.
Driving through Giraffe Junction, the 16-acre drive-through reserve, visitors watched on as the new calf, Forabi, was born out in the reserve, with all of the herd taking an interest and carefully surrounding the new infant, not only to welcome the calf, but instinctively to protect it with their formidable presence as they would from predators in the wild.
A spokesman said: “Woburn is one of the few wildlife collections to encourage giraffes to birth as a social unit, with all herd members taking an active interest and learning from the birthing process. This helps younger animals to learn about the birthing process and encourages natural behaviours, that would be found in a wild herd.
“With only around 600 Rothschild’s giraffe left in the wild, this sub-species is critically endangered and is therefore a priority for conservation, so every calf is precious. Woburn has been successful with its breeding program of these magnificent animals and works closely with the European Endangered Species Program.”