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One Tall Baby Arrives at Belfast Zoo
Adults inspect the newborn calf.
Credit: Belfast Zoo.

On June 13, Belfast Zoological Gardens celebrated the tallest birth of 2012 with the arrival of a female giraffe calf.

The latest addition was born to mother, Niamh and father, Finn. Finn arrived from Fota Wildlife Park in February 2011 and this is his first calf.

"Niamh first displayed signs of labour just after 9am and zoo visitors were delighted and amazed as they had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch a giraffe birth," said zoo curator, Alyn Cairns.

Zoo manager, Mark Challis, is delighted with the birth. "Our herd of Rothschild's giraffes are, without question, one of the zoo's star attractions! As we are proud to be Northern Ireland's only zoo, it has long been a tradition that we name our giraffe calves after towns and villages in Northern Ireland and Ireland, which begin with 'Bally.'" 

Over the next week, the zoo will be asking their Facebook fans to vote for their favorite name for the new arrival. The choices are Foyle, Clare, Colla, Eve and French.

"Rothschild's giraffes are part of a European breeding programme and considering that they are one of the most endangered of the nine subspecies of gira," Cairns said in a statement.

Belfast Zoo first became home to giraffes in 1988 and since then has become renowned as one of the best breeders of giraffes in the zoo world, with over 20 births, according to a zoo statement.