Dramatic footage has captured the moment an endangered giraffe makes its grand entrance into the world—by falling more than 6ft (2m) to the floor.
The CCTV footage shows the adorable newcomer—a Rothschild’s giraffe—dropping onto a bed of straw, and causing such a commotion that the rest of the lounging herd immediately jumped to its feet.
The calf, born last week at the Chester Zoo in England, looked tiny in comparison to its mother, Orla, who is 14-year-old. But the baby was born measuring 6ft tall and weighing a whopping 158 pounds (72kg).
“The excitement of a new calf suddenly appearing shortly before 3am certainly gave everyone quite the awakening!” said Giraffe team manager Sarah Roffe.
She said Orla stood next to Dagmar, an experienced mother, during the delivery as she readied herself for the final push.
“This high fall is a really important part of the birthing process as it’s what helps to break the umbilical cord and stimulates the calf to take its very first breath,” explained Roffe.
The footage below also shows the newborn standing up and taking his very first steps and enjoying his first feeding.
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“Following the dramatic birth, it’s vitally important that the calf gets to its feet quickly and ventures over to mum for its first feed – it’s these precious early moments that help to cement that special bond between the two of them,” said the zookeeper.
The baby’s been named Stanley after the tallest mountain in Uganda, where the zoo’s conservationists are working to boost wild giraffe numbers in Africa.
The Rothschild’s giraffe is listed as ‘vulnerable to extinction’, but their numbers are now increasing due to conservation efforts, with around 2,500 in the wilds of East Africa.
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“It’s early days, but so far the calf is looking strong, healthy and very content, which is brilliant to see.”
Watch the full video below—or jump to the baby dropping at 1:00..
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