Zoo baby alert: Meet Kiara the giraffe

Friday 30 May 2008 17.02
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Kiara - Already 1.9m tall
Kiara - Already 1.9m tall
Cologne - Breeding programme one of world's most successful
Cologne - Breeding programme one of world's most successful

Children in Cologne flocked to the city's zoo yesterday to catch the first public glimpse of a week-old baby giraffe.

Kiara is already 1.9m tall and weighs 80kg. She is expected to reach a full height of up to 6m.

'The offspring is very fit and healthy, she got up right away,' the zoo's director Theo Pagel said.

'We waited a couple of days before letting the animals onto the outdoor enclosure. The baby is very lively and active, feeds well and is developing normally, so we expect everything to run smoothly,' Mr Pagel added.

Although a giraffe birth is typically a dangerous process, Kiara's mother Kitale has recovered well.

In their natural habitat, Africa's savannas, only little more than 100,000 of the gentle giants still exist.

The giraffe breeding programme at Cologne Zoo is one of the most successful in the world.

Kiara is the 51st giraffe to live within the zoo's enclosures.