The South African summer does not only bring glorious sunshine to Kariega Game Reserve, but also an abundance of newborns across a multitude of animal species. Ranger Jone was lucky to have had her video camera at the ready to capture this baby giraffe’s first wobbly steps. Within a few hours this same little giraffe was able to run around – albeit awkwardly.
At birth a baby giraffe falls two metres to the ground
The gestation period for a giraffe is 15 months. Pregnant cows will move away from the herd when they feel they are almost ready to give birth. At birth the baby giraffe falls about two meters to the ground which helps snap the umbilical cord and get the lungs working. Nature can be harsh… but truly amazing!
Kariega Game Reserve welcomes three baby giraffe in two months
Giraffes don't have a specific time of year to give birth so we consider it lucky that three new babies have been born at Kariega over the last two months. After birth, the mother and her baby will stay away from their herd for approximately two weeks to facilitate a bonding period and give the calf time to learn to walk and run properly. Once they rejoin the herd the giraffe cow will raise the calf by herself.
At birth a giraffe calf weighs about 100 kilograms
The giraffe calf is weaned between six to eight months, but only about 52 per cent of calves in the wild ever reach maturity, as the young are easy prey for lions, hyenas and leopards. If the calf survives, sexual maturity is reached after four or five years.
Please email us at email@example.com if you have a story to share about your experience at Kariega Game Reserve, particularly if it involves a baby giraffe!