New giraffe calf born at Wellington Zoo

Wellington Zoo has welcomed a baby giraffe - the first born there in almost 20 years.

The female calf was trying to get to its feet only moments after it was born.

After a whirlwind birth, she's the zoo's newest arrival.

"Exciting and dramatic, always dramatic," said animal care manager Nic Dunn.

She was born at around 6am on Wednesday, after her mum Zuri went into Labour just before 2am.

It was an early wake up for Dunn.

"I got a phone call saying it's begun, and we know that those labours can take several hours," he told Newshub.

"So it gave us plenty of time to get in here and get everything ready for whatever happened."

Thankfully, the birth went smoothly and now mum and daughter are alone inside the birthing unit to bond. 

"She's really shown a great maternal instinct so far and it's a first time mum so anything can happen - you never know with these animals."

"And so far so good."

The calf is the fifth member of the Zoo's giraffe herd, joining father Sunny and great aunt Sahara.

And as for the calf's name?

"We normally come up with a shortlist, and you never know, they might go out for a public consultation," said Dunn

"It's been 19 years since we've had a giraffe birth at Wellington Zoo, so this is a really special moment for us."

All going to plan, she'll be walking around outside next week.