Giraffe Takes First Steps 5 Minutes After Birth

Watch the miracle of life as this mother giraffe gives birth and helps her newborn take its first steps, all within 5 minutes!


Johan Van Zyl from Wild Eye had front-row seats to this miracle of life. Johan shared his footage and story of this intimate sighting and moment with

All content by Johan Van Zyl

“While out on the drive, we spotted a female giraffe, and we could instantly tell that something was different about her. Her body language and movement were not normal. As we approached, we discovered that she was in the process of giving birth—something that is not often seen, let alone caught on camera.”

“We watched her for a while, giving her space and not adding any extra stress to her. This is important, as female giraffes are extremely vulnerable when giving birth. They are not able to defend themselves during this process. Thus, they are under a lot of stress, not for only their safety but also the safety of their newborn baby.”

“The process took around 45 minutes to an hour, and we were able to witness the entire birth. First, the newborn’s legs emerged from the mother, and bit by bit, the rest of the body became visible. As it came to an end, we could see the relief on the mother’s face, and with a loud thump out came this tiny newborn giraffe.”

Considering that giraffes give birth while standing, the calf drops to the ground from a height of about 6 feet! This may seem scary, but it helps the calf take its first breath and get its blood flowing. This is also another stressful period for the mother, as the afterbirth smell may alert any predators in the area, and the mother needs to be on full guard.

“We watched as the little one struggled to take to its feet, wobbling and falling over. This was incredibly cute and heartwarming for everyone to see. New life had been witnessed, and it was amazing to see how active the little calf was from the get-go.”

“The mother tried to nudge the baby and assist it in standing, and this continued for around an hour. After all of the failed attempts, the calf eventually stood on its own. Being born with long legs and a long neck is no easy task. But it managed to eventually stand, with some care from its mother.”

“At this point, we waited until it took its first steps, and that’s when we decided to leave and offer the mother and baby some well-deserved space. Being considerate and ethical about these moments is crucial, as added stress on either of the two could be negative. So, swe went with warm hearts and smiles all around for being able to witness this incredible moment.”