Staff at the Granby Zoo east of Montreal are welcoming its first new addition of the year: a healthy baby giraffe.

The giraffe, a female named Kumi, was born Monday morning. It took only 25 minutes for the giraffe to take its first steps.

"She is taller than me,"  Marion Desmarchelier, a Granby Zoo veterinarian told CBC Montreal's Homerun.

"She is almost 2 metres high."

The baby will be viewable to visitors starting next weekend in a pavilion alongside its mother, Masaï.

It was Masaï's 10th baby and Kumi means 10 in Swahili.

A highly endangered species

Desmarchelier says it's still uncertain if Kumi will be staying at the Granby Zoo, but what is most important is the conservation of the species and especially Kumi's particular subspecies.

"The Rothschild's giraffe is highly endangered and we really want to make sure that we participate in the breeding program the best way we can," Desmarchelier said.

There are roughly 100,000 giraffes worldwide and in several African countries the giraffe population is considered under threat.

Desmarchelier says there are no programs in Canada that release giraffes born in captivity into the wild, but added it's a possibility if there is a danger of extinction.