Nyah boosts zoo's giraffe program | Photos, Video

Her name means purpose, and new female giraffe calf Nyah will have a very important one when she gets older.

Nyah was born on January 1, a third calf for mother Ntombi and already stands at about 1.5 metres tall.

Due to poaching for meat and the destruction of their habitat, giraffe keeper Jackie Stuart said there had been a significant drop in the number of giraffe in the wild.

"Nyah will be part of a breeding program that will help ensure the existence of the giraffe," Ms Stuart said.

"They've taken a huge turn. They haven't been a problem for a long time but now there are only 80,000 left in the wild."

There are currently no plans to move Nyah away from Dubbo but Ms Stuart said it would depend on the breeding program and where her genetics best fit.

For now, the two-week-old calf is getting to know her surroundings and slowly gaining confidence, while Ntombi keeps a close watch on her.

"[Ntombi] eats and sleeps and moves around a bit, but she keeps watch of her out of the corner of her eye," Ms Stuart said.

Nyah's arrival was an exciting way for the keepers to start off the year.

"We knew it was coming shortly but we didn't know when," she said.

"We came in on January 1st and had a nice little surprise."

Nyah won't be the only baby for long with more giraffe calves expected in the next month.


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