19/05/2017

Baby Giraffe Makes Debut At Belfast Zoo

A baby giraffe named Gilbert has been delighting visitors at Belfast Zoo.

Gilbert, an endangered Rothschild giraffe, was born to mother, Daisy and father, Finn, on Sunday 07 May.

The zoo introduced him as part of endangered species day on 19 May.
News Image
Zoo curator, Raymond Robinson, said: "We are proud to be Northern Ireland's only zoo and it has long been a tradition that giraffe calves born here are named after towns and villages in Northern Ireland and Ireland which begin with ‘Bally’. We are delighted to announce that our little calf is a male and has been named Gilbert! Giraffes give birth standing up and the front feet are delivered first, followed by the head, neck and shoulders. The calf falls more than five feet to the ground which doesn't hurt but does cause the calf to take its first big breath. The calf is five to six feet in height at birth, learns to stand within 30 minutes and can run just 10 hours after birth!"

Zoo manager, Alyn Cairns, said: "Rothschild's giraffes are one of the most endangered of the giraffe subspecies. While giraffes inhabit savannahs and grasslands across Africa, the Rothschild subspecies only exists in small numbers within protected areas in Kenya and northern Uganda. In fact, some estimates suggest that less than 1600 still remain in the wild due to poaching and habitat loss, factors which are pushing this iconic species ever closer to extinction. We work collaboratively with zoos around the world and take part in a European breeding programme. Since we became home to the species in 1988, we have celebrated the arrival of 34 calves and we are delighted to welcome little Gilbert to the family!"

(CD/MH)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

21 March 2018
Pope Francis To Visit Ireland
Pope Francis is to visit Ireland in August. It will be his first papal trip to the country in almost 40 years. The pontiff will travel to Dublin to attend the World Meeting of Families. Pope John Paul was the last pontiff to visit Ireland in 1979.
19 February 2018
Northern Ireland To Play Israel At Windsor Park
Northern Ireland are to play against Israel in a friendly international on Tuesday, 11 September. The match will take place at Windsor Park at 7.45pm. The game comes three days after Northern Ireland play Bosnia and Herzegovina in the UEFA Nations League at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.
23 March 2018
Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Visit Northern Ireland
Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle are on their first official visit together in Northern Ireland. The couple visited the Crown Liquor Saloon Bar and staff from the National Trust told them about some of the history of the bar.
07 March 2018
79% Of Plastic Found On NI Beaches - Report
An average of over 500 items of litter have been found on every 100m of beach in Northern Ireland since 2012. A total of 79% of the litter was plastic, according to the 2017 Marine Litter Report, which has been published by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.
17 October 2017
Northern Ireland To Play Switzerland In World Cup Play-Offs
Northern Ireland will play against Switzerland in next month's World Cup play-offs. Micheal O'Neill's side were paired with the Swiss and will play at Windsor Park Stadium in the first leg, and away in the second. Mr O'Neill said: O'Neill said: "Whoever we got we knew it was going to be a difficult game.
09 October 2017
Northern Ireland Make World Cup Play-Offs
Northern Ireland have made it through to the World Cup play-offs. The team were defeated by Norway 1-0 on Sunday, 08 October, however Scotland failed to beat Slovenia in their fixture, ensuring NI secured their spot in the tournament. The draw will be made later this month and the games - staged over two legs - will take place in November.
06 October 2017
World Cup 2018: Northern Ireland Defeated By Germany
Northern Ireland have been defeated by Germany at Windsor Park. The current world champions beat Northern Ireland 3-1 in Belfast. Sebastian Rudy scored the first goal in the second minute. Josh Magennis headed Northern Ireland's goal in stoppage time. However, Northern Ireland remain well placed to make November's play-offs.
20 April 2018
Bangor's Historic Court House To Be Brought Back To Community Use
The Department of Justice has announced plans to transfer Bangor Court House to allow it be brought back into use as a community facility.
21 March 2018
MLA Salaries Expected To Be Debated At Westminster
MLA's salaries are expected to be debated at Westminster on Wednesday, 21 March. Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley is seeking legal power to reduce politicians' wages after the collapse of the Executive. Earlier this month, Mrs Bradley said she was "minded" to reduce their pay by 27.5%.
16 February 2018
Alliance Refuses To Appear At Hearing Over Jamie Bryson
The Alliance Party has refused to appear before the Westminster Northern Ireland Affairs Committee because loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson is to give evidence. Alliance leader Naomi Long and Mr Bryson were on a list of witnesses invited to give oral evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.
27 November 2017
Firefighters Extinguish Blaze At Derelict Building In Co Armagh
Emergency services have extinguished a blaze at a derelict building in Co Armagh. The fire happened in the High Street area of Lurgan at around 4.30am on Sunday, 26 November. The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) attended the scene and put out the blaze.
24 November 2017
Half Of Most Deprived Areas In NI Are In Belfast
Half of Northern Ireland's most deprived areas are in Belfast, it has been revealed. The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) published a report which showed the most relatively deprived area was Strabane East and the least deprived was the Belmont area in east Belfast. The data included splitting NI into 890 areas.
18 April 2018
PSNI To Take Part In 24-Hour Speed Campaign
Police in Northern Ireland are taking part in a 24-hour crackdown on speeding. The PSNI are participating in The European Traffic Police Network which will pay attention to drivers who fail to stay within the speed limits.
04 April 2018
Other News In Brief
Work To Start On Resurfacing Project In Limavady Work is to start on a £285,000 road resurfacing project in Limavady, L'Derry. The work, whiich will being on Monday, 09 April, will take place on the A2 Seacoast Road between the junction of Bishops Road and Benone Leisure complex.
29 March 2018
Bill For Same-Sex Marriage In NI Passes First Stage
A bill for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland has passed the first stage. Labour MP Conor McGinn, originally from Armagh, raised the private member's bill at the House of Commons and he later joined campaigners who were delivering a petition to 10 Downing Street.