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On Wobbly Legs


When on safari in Kenya, I was lucky enough to see a giraffe being born. We were on a morning safari drive when we noticed two little legs sticking out the back of a female giraffe. The following 2 hours would be the most memorable of my life. At first the female giraffe was in a thicket and while I photographed the literal birth, it was only after the baby was born that I could reposition for serious photography. This portfolio shows the baby plucking up the courage to stand up and to walk for the very first time. Enjoy...


After the baby was born, the mother giraffe licked it all over, cleaning it after the birth.


The baby sat there for a while with its mom looking anxiously on, waiting for it to try to stand up. This stage is no doubt very dangerous as lions and hyenas could grab an easy meal. The mother knew this but the baby needed a minute to compose itself (as you do after dropping over 6ft at birth on your way down to terra firma).


The mother then did something very interesting in that, while the baby plucked up the courage to stand, she stood over it with her long legs protecting it and possibly providing a framework to support her baby when it did try to stand.


The baby then finally got onto its haunches and managed to get its back legs up but it was 'front heavy'. Gravity was not being kind.


The baby giraffe managed to pull back, fighting gravity and standing. Hooray!


Incredibly, in possibly a never before photographed event, the mother put one leg out to support the baby and to stop it from toppling over.


The baby walks for the first time!


The end

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