Giraffe mum Kiraka births fifth baby at Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo has welcomed its newest member, a giraffe calf, born over the weekend.  

It's been a year-and-a-half since a calf was born at the zoo and Newshub got to take a very special look. 

The newest addition to the whānau at Auckland Zoo was seen with her mum, Kiraka, on Tuesday. 

The yet-to-be-named calf arrived on Saturday evening, rather quickly. 

"At 7:33pm her waters broke, and we saw that on camera, so the team rushed in just to make sure we were there for her," Auckland Zoo ungulates keeper Ben Cosgrove told Newshub. 

"Kiraka is quite an experienced mum, having already had four other offspring." 

The baby giraffe is around 6 feet tall and is yet to be named.
The baby giraffe is around 6 feet tall and is yet to be named. Photo credit: Facebook/Auckland Zoo

The pair have been hanging out in the giraffe house, however, Kiraka does have the option to take her calf into the outdoor yard, so visitors could catch a glimpse of them during the day. 

The female calf is estimated to be about 6 feet tall, but won't stay that way for long. 

"The calf's growth is estimated to be about 2.5 centimetres per day for the first week of life, and then in the first year they can almost double their size from when they're first born," Cosgrove added.  

She'll meet the rest of her giraffe whānau before being introduced to the other species in the enclosure in about one month's time. 

 "When we're happy with the herd's dynamic and they've all accepted her and she's feeling okay, and running well - then we can start to put her outside with the other species as well," he explained.  

"The zebra and the ostrich will get to meet her," he added.

Giraffe populations in the wild have declined by 30 percent in the last 30 years... which makes this new addition even more special.

"It makes the job worthwhile and something we all get excited about," Cosgrove said.  

And for those keen to get involved, Auckland Zoo will announce a naming competition for Kiraka's calf in the coming weeks.