This series of images depict nature at its most glorious as a giraffe gives birth to a calf who “plops” out headfirst before clambering to his feet.
The snaps show the moment the nonchalant mum gives birth to her baby.
In hardly any time at all, the newborn animal is up on his feet and galloping around, despite a bit of a wobbly start.
Photographer Ayesha Cantor, from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, captured the awe-inspiring moment at Kragga Kamma Game Park, just outside her hometown.
Ayesha, 48, said: “I was just about to settle down for an afternoon nap when ranger Steven called to say that he had just spotted a giraffe about to give birth.
Out he comes: The calf starts his journey into the world (Image: Ayesha Cantor/Caters)
“It can take a good hour or longer for a giraffe to give birth, from the moment the feet appear to the calf being fully born.
“Amazingly, the calf does not fall from as great a height as one would imagine – its head is almost touching the ground before it makes the final plop.
“It’s not just the calf’s long legs that need to gain control – its long neck is the wobbliest of stalks, making for some really funny and cute scenes as you watch it trying to hold its head upright – almost like it’s a bit drunk.
Ain’t nothing: The mother giraffe looks pretty chilled as her baby “plops” out (Image: Ayesha Cantor/Caters)
“This is why I live in Africa – how privileged are we to be living on this magnificent continent, and to witness scenes like this!
“To see this beautiful creature, so tender with her calf, and to see how herd mates stand close and welcome the calf with warming nuzzles – there really is not much else that evokes such feel-good emotions, it’s absolutely magical.”
Ayesha added that giraffe numbers in the African bush are dwindling, dropping from more than 140,000 in 1999 to just 80,000 now.
I’m here! The calf tumbles out headfirst before clambering to its feet (Image: Ayesha Cantor/Caters)
She said: “Giraffe breed very well but they are most vulnerable during this time, as it can take another hour for the calf to stand up properly on its own feet – even then it is wobbly.
“This is the time predators strike, mostly taking out the calves but sometimes the mum too.”