A baby giraffe has been born at the Whipsnade Zoo, just in time for Mother's Day. Nuru was born on 24 February and already has grown to 5ft 6in. She is the fourth calf for 15-year-old Savannah, who kept zookeepers in anticipation for weeks. The calf was named Nuru after the Swahili word for light.

Keeper Cassie Taylor said: "Savannah is a fantastic mum, so it was particularly lovely to have the calf arrive in time for Mother's Day. We were lucky enough to be there to observe the birth, and watched Nuru as mum Savannah gently helped her stand up and delicately cleaned her new arrival."

The new calf is part of the European Endangered Species Programme, which aims to ensure the survival of at-risk species across European zoos. Giraffe numbers have plummeted in recent years, dropping from 140,000 worldwide in the early 1990s, to just 80,000 today.

Nuru is doing well though, and despite being just eight-days-old has already started to explore her surroundings.

"Calves don't usually wean from their mothers' milk until they are a few months old but Nuru is already showing an interest in leaves, and at one point dunked her whole head in the water bowl! She's a really wonderful addition to the group and will make a great playmate for 18 month old Luna and two year old Willow," said Taylor.