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Banham zoo's own Christmas story

PUBLISHED: 08:20 11 January 2009 | UPDATED: 10:51 12 July 2010

Pleased to meet you! Banham Zoo head keeper Melonie Anderson bonds with a two week old giraffe calf.

Pleased to meet you! Banham Zoo head keeper Melonie Anderson bonds with a two week old giraffe calf.

For the second time in nine months Banham zoo is celebrating the birth of a baby giraffe.

And this time staff can sleep easy in their beds as no bottle feeds are required.

For the second time in nine months Banham zoo is celebrating the birth of a baby giraffe.

And this time staff can sleep easy in their beds as no bottle feeds are required.

The new mum Fiona had looked close to giving birth for over a month and there was even talk among keepers of a Christmas birth. But it was not to be, as just one week before Christmas the new calf was finally delivered.

Fiona is a first time mum and has so far proved to be an attentive one. To be on the safe side, staff initially closed the giraffe house to allow mother and baby time to bond but visitors are now being allowed in again see the zoo's newest infant.

The new Giraffe house was officially opened to the public in March 2008 and currently has six giraffe, including the new arrival.

Fiona and her new calf will remain separated from the main herd for a little while yet just to ensure that the calf is feeding well, and is strong enough to withstand life with her much taller companions. But the zoo is already looking forward to the day when mum and baby can be reintegrated back into the main herd.

The other young giraffe, Ruby, was born last March and had to be hand reared as her mother did not show the strong maternal instinct required to care for the calf.

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