New Giraffe For Whipsnade

20 July 2011, 14:56

It's a tall order for Uno the young male giraffe who has arrived at a zoo to mate with three female giraffes.

Having set up home in his new paddock at Whipsnade Zoo in Beds, keepers have realised he's one of the smallest in the group.

But what Uno lacks in stature, his keepers say he makes up for in spirit and his now learning to walk tall.

Uno - which means number one - is nine-years old and is a bit smaller and less muscular than the average adult male

Keeper Louise Jackobsen, who has been looking after Uno since he arrived this month from Norway, said: "He's already showing an interest in the females and is not put off by their size. Since he has arrived he's been eating extremely well and is as calm as a rock."

Uno comes to Whipsnade as the zoo's breeding male and will be "sizing up" the existing females - Savannah, who has had two calves already, Ina and Ijuma.

Mating among giraffes is not a complicated courtship. In the wild males would pick up the scent of a fertile female by their hormones.

For the time being the group will enjoy roaming their green paddock and munching together from their high feeding posts, tasting all kinds of trees.