Australia Zoo's Rosie the giraffe to become mother again
ONE of Australia Zoo's tallest residents, Rosie the giraffe, has some exciting news to share ahead of Mother's Day.
Rosie, one of seven giraffes at the zoo, is already a proud mother to two-year-old Skye.
Her second baby is due in late July but the zoo team are not sure if Rosie is carrying a boy or a girl.
An ultrasound by Australia Zoo vet Dr Melanie Panayiotou has shown Rosie's pregnancy is going well.
It is the zoo's third giraffe pregnancy in a year, following the births of Tulip last July and Lily the following month.
Rosie's pregnancy is another major step in the zoo's successful breeding program. With only 80,000 giraffes believed to be left in the wild due to poaching and habitat loss, these births are essential for giraffe conservation.
Australia Zoo keeper Olivia Degn said she was hoping for a baby boy, to even out the male to female ratio on the African Savannah.
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"This exciting news comes ahead of Mother's Day this weekend and we know Rosie is going to make a great mum this second time around.
"Guests visiting Australia Zoo this weekend for Mother's Day can visit Rosie and the rest of the giraffe family on Australia Zoo's African Savannah, or they can spoil mum by booking in for one of our giraffe encounters."
Australia Zoo has plenty of activities happening for Mother's Day on Sunday.
These include free morning tea and massages for mum, prizes to be won, and free vehicle safety inspections by Kidsafe.
The average gestation period for a giraffe is 15 months.
The mother giraffe gives birth standing up, requiring the newborn to fall about two metres to the ground. Designed for such an abrupt entry into the world, a newborn calf can stand up and run within an hour of being born.
The average calf is just under two metres tall at birth and weighs about 100kg.
Newborn calves grow very quickly and can nearly double their height in the first year.
A newborn giraffe will suckle its mother's milk as soon as it can stand up. Calves are reliant on their mother's milk for up to 9-12 months.