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One of twin giraffes at zoo survives

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/01/2017

Auckland Zoo staff are optimistic a female twin giraffe will survive after taking the difficult decision to euthanase her brother.

Twins are extremely rare in giraffes with a little over 30 documented cases worldwide, the zoo says.

Seven-year-old mother Kiraka gave birth to the premature twins at 2.30am on the Saturday. Dad is 19-year-old Zabulu.

The female calf managed to stand and start suckling quite early but the male was very weak, unable to suckle or function independently and did not form a bond with mum.

"Despite the great efforts of all involved, the male's post-birth complications became untreatable and we took the very difficult decision on welfare grounds to euthanase the young male calf Monday morning," says curator of mammals Warren Spencer.

"Things are looking much more positive with the female calf; she has developed a strong bond with her mother and we are optimistic for the days ahead."

This is the third pregnancy for Kiraka.

A video of mum and baby is getting plenty of views on the zoo's Facebook page.

"What a happy/sad thing," was a comment typical of many made on the news.

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