Keepers at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall in Somerset are celebrating the birth of a baby giraffe. The young calf has been named Gus in the zoo's tradition of naming new arrivals after the animal's initials.
Eight-year-old Genny went into labour and gave birth in the privacy of the Giraffe House on Thursday evening, 11 May. Staff who had been monitoring her closely during her pregnancy were able to capture Gus's arrival on camera.
- You may find the footage of the giraffe's birth distressing
Pictures courtesy Noah's Ark Zoo Farm
Mum Genny didn't waste time in encouraging young Gus to walk and in the video we see him taking his first tottering steps. He already has two brothers - George, 4 and Geoffrey, 2.
Gus's arrival is tinged with sadness as their father, 12-year-old Gerald died earlier in March. He was one of the first ‘big zoo’ animals to arrive at the zoo, joining Noah’s Ark in 2006, and became famous for his unlikely friendship with one of the park's other residents, Eddie the Goat.
Africa Section Head Keeper Emma Green was on hand during the birth on Thursday evening and has been keeping a close eye on Gus.
In the wild, giraffes are a protected species and are classed as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Since 1985 the total giraffe population has fallen by 35%.