Woburn Safari Park’s week-old Rothschild’s giraffe has been named Sandy by ITV’s ‘This Morning’ after the Hollywood actress Sandra Bullock.
In the first half of yesterday’s show, viewers were asked to vote for one of 5 ‘S’ names (Sahara, Sandy, Sophie, Sakari and Simba) for the newborn, before presenter Alison Hammond announced the result as a tie from outside of its enclosure.
Co-hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield then decided on ‘Sandy’ over ‘Sahara’, which both got 24% of the public vote.
The name ‘Sandy’ was put forward for the competition by Sandra Bullock after she saw a photograph of the adorable calf with her neck curved like an ‘S’. Sandra is a friend of the Russell family at Woburn Safari Park.
Born last week to 20-year old mum, Savannah, and 15-year old dad, Casper, the baby is thought to be a female and was up, suckling and walking around within an hour; showing signs of being happy and healthy.
Remarkably, giraffes usually walk within a few hours of birth. Measuring in at 6-foot tall, the new arrival has plenty of growing to do and is expected to reach around 18-foot by adulthood. Keepers at Woburn always take a ‘hands-off’ approach, to allow mum and her calf time to bond.
A typical calf will need nourishment every two hours, so lots of food and shelter are provided to give mum plenty of strength to feed.
Acting deputy head of reserves, Tom Robson said: “We are all thrilled with the new arrival and can’t wait to see the calf grow and integrate with the other giraffes. As is typical with these animals, we expect the whole herd to have a role in bringing up the calf. This aids integration and is brilliant for less-experienced members of the herd too, as it provides enrichment and life skills. Savannah and Casper are both experienced parents, so they are very relaxed about the whole process!”