Baby giraffes seem to be a bit out of proportion when they are small. Their necks seem to be a bit too short in relation to their legs, and their horns are still small with the hair on it still a bit fluffy.
After a gestation period of 15 months, the mother giraffe gives birth to a single calf, in standing position. The calf falls to the ground – what a rough introduction to the world! Twins have been reported but are not common.
At birth a giraffe is taller than most people (1.8m/6ft) and weighs around 45kg (99 pounds/7 stone). They grow at an astonishing rate of up to 2.5cm (1”) a day! Males grow to about 5m (16.5 ft) and females 4.5m (14.8 ft) tall.
In the beginning the calf is hidden in the shade with its mother visiting it, after which it joins a crèche. Females will often strike at danger with their front feet to protect their young.
Baby giraffes are vulnerable to predators such as lions, hyena and leopard. As much as 50% don’t make it past 6 months of age.
They start eating solid food at about 2 months of age but are usually only completely weaned at about 18 months.
Giraffes don’t give birth at a specific time of the year so it’s got a bit to do with luck for you to find and photograph calves.
The tallest living animal in the world is widely spread throughout Eastern and Southern Africa, with a few sub-species occurring. You should find them in almost all the game parks and reserves on safari.
Which baby is the cutest in Africa? Check the baby animal pictures gallery to decide...
More photos of baby giraffes at Ross Warner’s photography site.