Perth Zoo is celebrating World Giraffe Day with a special announcement from Environment Minister Stephen Dawson: the zoo is expecting a giraffe calf to be born later this winter.
This will be the second calf for female giraffe, Kitoto, and bull, Armani. The pair welcomed their first calf, Kamili, in March last year, and Kitoto fell pregnant again soon after.
Giraffes have a 15-month gestation period. With an exact due date difficult to determine, Perth Zoo’s keepers and veterinary team will keep a close watch on the expectant mum over the next few months.
Kitoto was first introduced to Perth Zoo’s bull, Armani, in 2016, following a 4,200 kilometre road trip from Taronga Zoo as part of the co-operative Australasian breeding program.
Giraffes are facing unprecedented pressures in the wild. Three of the nine giraffe subspecies are now considered ‘Critically Endangered’ or ‘Endangered’. Poaching, game hunting and habitat loss continue to be major threats.
The community can keep up to date with Kitoto’s pregnancy, and the upcoming arrival of her new calf, by following Perth Zoo’s social media accounts.
Perth Zoo currently has four giraffes in their African Savannah area, Armani, Kitoto, Kamili and another female, Ellie.
As stated by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
“Wild giraffes had a 40 per cent decline in population over the past 30 years. This is why the breeding work Perth Zoo does is so vitally important.
“Every giraffe born is precious, and the upcoming birth will help protect this species from extinction.
“Including Kamili, born last year, nine giraffes have been born at Perth Zoo since 1995. We look forward to welcoming the 10th calf this winter.”