A rare Rothschild’s giraffe has been born at Chester Zoo and conservationists captured the magical moment on CCTV.
New mum, 14-year-old Orla delivered the calf onto soft straw after a 15-month pregnancy and three hour long labour.
The heart-warming footage shows the baby’s first wobbly steps and precious first feed.
Keepers have named the new male calf Stanley after Mount Stanley, the tallest mountain in Uganda, Africa, where the zoo’s conservationists are fighting to boost giraffe numbers.
The Rothschild’s giraffe is one of Africa’s most at-risk mammals with fewer than 2,500 now remaining in the wild.
Sarah Roffe, giraffe team manager at the zoo, said: “Mum-to-be Orla was stood next to Dagmar, another experienced mum, for the delivery as she readied herself for the final push.
"Her calf then arrived into the world with quite the bump, causing the rest of the herd to jump to their feet.
"The excitement of a new calf suddenly appearing shortly before 3am certainly gave everyone quite the awakening!
"This two-metre 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.
"While tiny in comparison to mum Orla, her new arrival was born already towering above us at 6ft tall and weighing a hefty 72kg!
"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.
"That’s exactly what occurred between Orla and her baby only minutes after his birth. It’s early days, but so far the calf is looking strong, healthy and very content, which is brilliant to see.”
Baby Stanley joins five siblings from mum, Orla. She has previously given birth to five other calves at Chester Zoo: Millie, Narus, Kidepo, Karamoja and Albert.