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Nubian giraffe calf born in Al Ain Zoological Park

Sadiq A. Salam (Our staff reporter)
Filed on February 27, 2003

AL AIN - A female Nubian giraffe, one of the endangered species in the world, delivered a calf in Al Ain Zoological Park last week after a gestation period of about 450 days.

Dr M. Nael A. Abu-Zaid, Technical Director of the zoo, told Khaleej Times that "we will not be able to identify the gender of the 100kg calf before three weeks because approaching it at this stage is hazardous to it and may result in the refusal of its mother to breastfeed it," he added.

Dr Nael said: "We are also expecting two similar deliveries this year. The present 13-member Nubian giraffe group, which is the largest number for a zoo anywhere, with 11 females and two males, is divided into two sections, each with one male.
"In 1992, we had only six animals and the zoo is very proud of having a successful breeding programme of this rare and endangered species. Since giraffes occupy a large home area, we have built a new enclosure for our group, providing a habitat as natural as possible.

"Two females and one male would be transferred to the new habitat within the coming days.

"Giraffe has eight subspecies, of which Nubian and Rothschild's or Baringo have declined drastically and become endangered, due to habitat loss, hunting for their meat, hides and tails. It is unlikely that giraffes will survive outside parks and reserves in the long term because of the environmental deterioration," Dr Nael added.





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