SASOLBURG - Sasol issued a statement to inform Vaal residents that the Bongani Mabaso EcoPark in Vaalpark will be closed for visitors due to the birth of a baby male giraffe on Sunday, July 5. According to Sasolburg Operations Senior Manager Environment, Bob Kleynjan, both the giraffe cow and calf are doing well. The newest arrival is however still very shy and will take time to adapt to its environment. Sasol said in a statement the new baby’s older sister was born in the EcoPark on 19 October 2018. To allow the giraffe family time to adapt to their new responsibilities, it was decided to close the EcoPark to visitors. Kleynjan said the well-being of the calf and impact of COVID-19 will be monitored. This will determine when the reserve can be re-opened to the public. He said the calf’s mother is very protective of him and that could present a safety risk to visitors should the park be re-opened prematurely. According to Kleynjan, this is in the interest of the giraffes, as well as for the safety of visitors.