Belfast Zoo welcomes newest giraffe calf 'Ballyclare'

Baby Ballyclare or 'Clare' was born on Thursday evening, measuring in at 5 foot 9 inches. Credit: Belfast Zoo

Belfast Zoo has welcomed its second baby giraffe in the last three months.

The giraffe calf, named Ballyclare, was delivered late on Thursday night.

Zoo keepers say the baby and its mother Neja are both doing well, with zoo veterinarian keeping a close eye to ensure 'Clare' is feeding well and that the mother-baby bond is strong.

Measuring 5 foot 9 inches, baby Clare is already taller than her big brother, Ronan, who was born in May this year.

Ronan is actually one of the shortest giraffe calves ever born at Belfast Zoo, measuring just 5 foot 2 inches.

Clare's brother Ronan was born in May this year. Credit: Belfast Zoo

Senior Keeper, Peter Cross, said it's tradition for the zoo to name any new giraffe calves after towns and villages in Northern Ireland that begin with 'Bally'.

Zoo Manager Alyn Cairns believes the success of the zoo’s giraffe breeding programme is due to the expertise and dedication from his team.

“We work collaboratively with zoos around the world and take part in a European breeding programme. Since we became home to the species in 1988, we have celebrated the arrival of 37 calves and we are delighted to welcome little Clare to the herd.”

Belfast Zoo is now home to nine Rothschild’s giraffes, one of the nine subspecies of giraffes.

Giraffes are one of the world’s most iconic and loved animals, but they are facing increasing threats in the wild due to poaching and habitat destruction.

Rothschild's giraffes are one of the most endangered of the nine subspecies of giraffe.

Belfast Zoo reopened to the public on 5th July with health and safety measures in place to keep staff, animals and visitors safe.

Entry is permitted strictly by pre-booked tickets only.