A Rothschild’s giraffe has been born at Chester Zoo. This new baby is a half-sibling for calf Zahra who was born just before last Christmas.
Chester Zoo’s Curator of mammals, Tim Rowlands said, “We’ve had two giraffe calves born in quick succession so it’s rather like seeing double!”
At over 5ft (1.5m) tall this tall arrival is big news for a species which numbers just 1,100 in the wild.
Mum Dagmar gave birth at 1pm on the 7th of June. Soon after the calf was up on its feet and sucklings from mum. The father of the calf is Meru.
Rothschild’s giraffes are one of the most endangered of the nine giraffe sub-species.
Rowlands added, “with Rothschild’s giraffe numbers declining in the wild at an alarming rate, we really hope our not-so-little new arrival draws some much needed attention to the species. These animals are under real threat from a massive upsurge in poaching for their meat and are of high conservation priority – indeed the need for a concerted conservation effort has never been more urgent.”
This species is also known as the Baringo or Ugandan giraffe. With less than 1,100 remaining they are more endangered than giant pandas and African elephants. They are endangered due to hunting for their tails that are used as good-luck charms, sewing threads and even fly swats along with poaching for meat.
Luckily Chester Zoo has supported the first ever scientific review of this species in their native Africa. Into the future they have plans to develop a long-term conservation strategy for this species.
Almost one-third of the remaining Rothschild’s giraffes are in zoos where a breeding program is providing a safety-net for if they go extinct.
Photo Credit: Chester Zoo