Chester Zoo’s third Rothschild’s giraffe calf born in the past eight months made his first trip outside recently.
He is growing up fast having also recently been named Kidepo and ventured outside for the first time on July 23rd with mum Orla, dad Meru and the rest of the herd.
Team manager of giraffes, Sarah Roffe said, “It’ll take Kidepo a little bit of time to get used to his long legs but he already seems confident and full of personality and he’s doing very well so far. We’re really pleased with how he has taken to the rest of the herd and with how the herd has quickly taken to having him around.”
On his journey he was joined by the zoo’s other calves Zahra, who was born in December 2014 and Sanyu who was born in June.
“With three endangered Rothschild’s giraffe calves born here in a short space of time, it’s a very busy period for the zookeepers. But we wouldn’t want it any other way,” added Roffe.
Chester Zoo participates in the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for this species. This program manages the giraffes in European zoo’s to ensure that their population remains genetically diverse and could be used were the Rothschild’s giraffe to go extinct in the wild.
Unfortunately this is a real threat for this giraffe subspecies. In their native Sudan, Uganda and Kenya just 1,100 of these animals remain. They are under threat from habitat loss and hunting. Chester Zoo supports conservation work with this species in the wild and at the zoo. One-third of the world’s Rothschild’s giraffes are found in zoos.
Roffe said, “Hopefully our new trio can bring some much-needed attention to the species and put a spotlight on the huge pressures that Rothschild’s giraffes have come under in the wild, as well as help raise awareness of the ever-growing need for conservation projects.”
Photo Credits: Chester Zoo