Meet zoo's 1st giraffe calf in 28 yrs
THE Singapore Zoo's fastest growing attraction - literally - is a baby which was born 1.9m tall and shot up 40cm in just more than 70 days to 2.3m.
Recent zoo visitors may have spotted its latest addition galloping around with its long-legged, long-necked family.
The Mandai attraction's first baby giraffe in 28 years was born on Aug 31 and spent its first full day out in the giraffe exhibit yesterday with its father, Growie, mother, Roni, and aunt, Lucy.
The male calf, which does not have a name yet, was 1.9m at birth, taller than an average person. It has grown to 2.3m and may more than double its height to 5.5m when it reaches maturity in three to five years.
Over the past two weeks, keepers have been letting the calf, nicknamed Baby G, to explore its exhibit periodically, to get it used to the presence of human visitors.
They also added barriers along the perimeter of the exhibit to prevent the calf from "doing the limbo" and wandering out, said assistant curator Azmi Amzah, 43.
Baby G had a shaky start when it was a few days old, as it was unable to coordinate its wobbly legs.
But it has since settled down well and has started nibbling on leaves and munching on fodder, instead of relying on its mother's milk only.
While giraffes are not an endangered species, unlike the pandas, Baby G's birth is still a cause for celebration, said Mr Azmi.
"Babies are a good indication that the animals under our care feel comfortable and secure enough to breed in the environment that we've created for them," he said.
His advice for visitors? Try not to make too much noise, as the calf is still startled by new things, including the zoo's trams when they rumble past.
Baby G has caught the attention of not just human visitors, but also its animal neighbours from across the road - the lions.
Mr Azmi said the lions perked up and "looked interested" when they saw the calf for the first time.
"The baby... didn't react at all. Maybe he doesn't know that lions eat them," he said with a laugh.