The morning of New Year's Eve, Auckland Zoo welcomed the arrival of twin giraffe calves born to 7-year-old mother, Kiraka.
This event is extremely rare in giraffes with a little over 30 documented cases worldwide.
This is a bitter-sweet announcement, as unfortunately, the twins were born prematurely and both relatively light in bodyweight. The female calf managed to stand and start suckling quite early, however the male was very weak, unable to suckle or function independently and did not form a bond with Kiraka.
"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 yesterday (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.
Auckland Zoo's Pridelands and vet teams will be continuing to monitor the female calf closely. Keep checking the zoos website, Facebook and Twitter for more information.