The rare giraffe calf was born on Boxing Day, a day after Christmas

By Kelli Bender
Updated December 29, 2016 05:59 PM

Chester Zoo is celebrating more than the holidays. On Boxing Day, its Rothschild’s giraffe Tula gave birth to healthy and adorable calf.

Aside from being a precious addition to the English zoo, this baby is also important for the species. There are only 1,600 Rothchild’s giraffes left in the wild, so each new calf born, whether in captivity or the wild, is vital in the conservation of this elegant animal.

At just a few hours old, the calf, who is currently unnamed, was standing on its own and taking his (or her!) first tentative steps.

The Chester Zoo has not yet announced the sex of the giraffe calf, but has expressed its excitement over the rare baby’s holiday arrival.

“Rothschild’s giraffes are highly threatened and so the arrival of a new calf is a major cause for celebration. It really is the best Christmas gift we could have ever have wished for,” Sarah Roffe, team manager of giraffes at the zoo, said in a statement. “Shortly after being born, the calf was up on its feet within minutes, which was really pleasing to see. When it gets a little more used to its long legs it will be introduced to the rest of the herd but, for now, it’s important that mum and calf spend a few days together striking up those early bonds.”