Fota Wildlife Park is seeking the public's help to name ta new giraffe calf born last month.
The male Rothschild’s giraffe was born on September 14 to mother Sapphire and first-time father Ferdie.
Mother, Sapphire, who came to Fota from Edinburgh Zoo in 2004, has given birth to six surviving calves and is 17 years of age.
Ten-year-old Ferdie who is the father, arrived to Fota from Burgers Zoo in The Netherlands in 2012 - both animals were transferred as part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) which is a population management programme run by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) to manage captive species populations that may be at risk of going extinct in the wild.
Lead Ranger Aidan Rafferty said about the birth: “We are delighted to welcome this new calf to the herd at Fota, so far he has integrated with the herd and his siblings extremely well - he has made great friends with the other young giraffe, two and a half-year-old Noínín and he’s taken to chasing Siofra around the paddock - and both giraffes happen to be his sisters."
"It’s quite a sight to see a baby calf chasing a fully-grown giraffe. He’s just thriving and basically he is a joy to see,” he continued.
“We are also delighted to say that efforts to conserve this once endangered subspecies of giraffe are succeeding with the populations in the wild slowing increasing. Dedicated programmes from the EEP and the cooperative work that Zoos and Wildlife Parks do are helping to raise awareness for the need for conservation of this subspecies.”
The Rothchild’s giraffe is one of the most popular species in Fota Wildlife Park.
The public can suggest a name for the new calf through the Fota website: http://www.fotawildlife.ie/blog