A rare giraffe has been born at Chester Zoo

image source, Chester Zoo

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The new addition arrived more than three hours after its mother gave birth

A zoo is celebrating the „joyous” birth of a rare giraffe it says is one of the world's most endangered mammals.

The special moment Rothschild's giraffe was born was caught on CCTV at Chester Zoo.

The 6-foot-tall (1.8 m) newcomer had been slumped on a bed of hay following mother Orla's labors for more than three hours.

There are less than 2,500 subspecies of giraffes in the wild, according to the zoo.

Zookeepers are yet to determine the gender of the calf, but said it already weighs 11 stone (70 kg), but will grow to 18 feet (5.5 m) tall and weigh 157 stone (1,000 kg).

Footage shows the calf falling from a height following a 472-day gestation.

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CCTV captures moment of birth of rare giraffe

Within 30 minutes of birth, the youngster can be seen stumbling to its feet and nursing from its mother for the first time.

Zookeeper Rosie Owen, one of the first to see the new arrival, said: „Mum and baby are doing well so far, just two days old and they've been quiet for a while getting to know each other.”

He said the birth was a boost to conservation efforts after the International Union for Conservation of Nature listed Rothschild's giraffes as vulnerable.

He said: „Giraffes have been quietly dying out across Africa for years, and as their numbers dwindle, they fly completely under the radar.

„But now, thanks to the International Conservation Breeding Program in zoos, combined with efforts in the wild to protect the remaining populations, numbers are slowly starting to rebound in Uganda, Africa, where we are working with our partners.”

image source, Chester Zoo

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The species is named after Lord Walter Rothschild

He added: „Together we are helping to create a future where the world's tallest animal can thrive well into the future.”

The species is named after Lord Walter Rothschild, founder of the National History Museum in Tring, Hertfordshire.

They are identified by their widely spaced white stripes.

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