The baby giraffe calf, born at Chester Zoo earlier this month, is already walking tall with the rest of the herd.
The 5ft youngster – a rare Rothschild’s giraffe – took his very first steps just five days after his birth at 1.05pm on Sunday, June 7.
Sanyu, which means happiness in Swahili, is the first male to be born at the zoo in recent years, with the previous four calves before him being female.
He arrived to mum Dagmar and dad Meru and is the second calf to be born at the zoo in the space of just six months – following hot on the hooves of Zahra who arrived just before Christmas last year.
Team manager of giraffes at Chester Zoo, Sarah Roffe, said: “Sanyu has had a busy week getting used to his long legs, learning about his surroundings and settling in with the rest of the herd. He’s doing really well so far under the watchful guidance of his mum Dagmar.
“Now that Sanyu has made his debut it’s great to watch people’s reactions when they see him for the first time. He’s already becoming a favourite with our visitors and hopefully he will help raise awareness of the enormous pressures faced by the species in the wild. An upsurge in poaching means that Rothschild’s giraffe numbers are declining at an alarming rate in Africa.
“We’re thrilled with Sanyu and we hope he will go on to be a vital addition to the European-wide breeding programme, ensuring that zoos have a viable insurance population of the species.”
Rothschild’s giraffes were added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list of endangered species in 2010 after estimates suggested less than 1,100 are left in the wild – making them one of the world’s most endangered subspecies of giraffe.
As well as a successful breeding record with Rothschild’s giraffes, Chester Zoo has also supported important conservation projects in the wild, including the first ever scientific review of the species. Its aim is to develop a long-term conservation strategy for the animals in Africa.