An endangered Rothschild’s giraffe has given birth to the newest addition to Belfast Zoo, thrilling keepers at the facility.

The zoo has now celebrated the arrival of 35 giraffe calves over the years it has been involved in homing the species and taking part in collaborative European breeding programmes.

After a long 15-month wait, nine-year-old Daisy went into labour on Thursday morning, with visitors able to see the first few hours before the little calf was finally born during the afternoon.

It is not yet known whether the new arrival is a boy or a girl and no name has been chosen.

It is the second calf for mum Daisy and dad Finn though, after their son Gilbert – who is still part of the herd in Belfast - was born in 2017.

Zoo curator Raymond Robinson said: “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome a new endangered Rothchild’s giraffe calf to the herd at Belfast Zoo.

“Keepers first noticed signs of labour during the morning and monitored mother Daisy throughout the day.

“Visitors were able to see the first few hours of the birth and the calf arrived in the late afternoon without any medical intervention.”

He added: “Daisy and her calf will now spend some time together inside to bond and the calf will be monitored by the zoo’s veterinary team and keeping staff.”

The newborn calf measures over 5ft tall and has already taken its first steps.

Rothschild’s giraffes are one of the most endangered giraffe subspecies, with only small numbers remaining in protected areas in Kenya and northern Uganda.

Some estimates suggest less than 1,600 remain in the wild, due to poaching and habitat loss.

  • UPDATE: Belfast Zoo has since confirmed ... It's a boy!