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Watch as cameras capture the rare moment baby giraffe is born at Chester Zoo

A gangly giraffe baby has been born at Chester Zoo this week, with the special moment captured live on CCTV cameras.

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The leggy newcomer arrived into the world to new mum Orla, with the joyous scene captured by the zoo’s cameras, at 11.30pm on Tuesday.

Footage shows the calf falling from a height of 6ft onto a bed of soft straw following a 472-day pregnancy and a labour lasting more than three hours.

The newborn at Chester Zoo

The youngster can then be seen stumbling to its feet and suckling from mum for the first time – all within just 30 minutes of being born.

The giraffe was born on Tuesday and it was caught on CCTV

Zookeepers are yet to determine if the two-day old is male or female and have said the calf already weighs more than 70kg and stands at 6ft tall – but will grow to be more than 18ft tall and weigh 1,000kg.

The newborn at Chester Zoo

Rosie Owen, who is a zookeeper on the giraffe team and was one of the first to see the new arrival, said: “Giraffes give birth standing up and so they really do enter world in dramatic fashion.

"Orla’s calf landed with quite a bump when it fell around 6ft onto the floor, but this is totally normal and is actually a really important part of the birth process – with the impact from the fall stimulating the calf and encouraging it to take its very first breath.

The newborn at Chester Zoo

“So far mum and baby are doing really well and, at just two days old, they’re spending some quiet time getting to know one another. Orla is an experienced mum, and so we’re seeing all the right signs from her, she’s very nurturing and allows her little one to suckle often while giving them little nudges of encouragement – especially as her calf is a little unsteady on its long legs.

“For many years giraffes underwent a silent extinction across Africa, with their declining numbers flying completely under the radar. But now, thanks to the international conservation breeding programme in zoos, paired with efforts in the wild to protect the remaining populations, numbers are slowly starting to bounce back in Uganda, Africa, where we’re working alongside our partners. Together, we’re helping to create a future where the world’s tallest animal can thrive well into the future.”

The newborn at Chester Zoo

Tens of thousands of Rothschild’s giraffes were once found in Kenya, Uganda and Sudan, however their population has suffered a 90 per cent decline in recent years as a direct result of poaching and habitat loss.

With just 2,500 estimated to remain across the whole of Africa, and the last major stronghold now in Kenya and Uganda, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the species as vulnerable - which means it faces a high chance of going extinct in the future.

Experts at the zoo are currently working on the ground in Uganda alongside its in-country partners, The Giraffe Conservation Foundation and Uganda Wildlife Authority, to help monitor and safeguard the animals in the wild. This vital work has now seen the population increase for the fourth consecutive year thanks to decades of conservation efforts.