Three is the magic number for Chester Zoo’s giraffe herd


Chester Zoo’s giraffe herd continues to grow with their third giraffe calf in eight months born on July 23rd. The incredibly rare Rothschild’s giraffe calf was born to mum, Orla at 6.50 in the morning. He joins the calves Zahra and Sanyu who were born earlier this year.

Nick Davis, Assistant curator of mammals at Chester Zoo said, “It’s often said that three is the magic number and that’s certainly been the case for us – our new arrival has made it a hat-trick of endangered Rothschild’s giraffe calves born here in the space of just eight months.”

“Our most recent calf arrived yesterday morning and both mum Orla and her youngster are doing very well. With this being Orla’s second calf, she’s a relatively experienced mum now and is doing a fantastic job of caring for her new charge.”


The calf’s father is Meru, a 5 year old male. Orla, is seven years old and this is her second calf following Millie in 2013. Orla has proven herself to be a brilliant mother.

“The calf was up on its feet and nursing shortly after the birth and is already full of energy and personality, so we’re all very excited to see how they get along with the rest of the herd,” added Davis.

Rothschild’s giraffes (also known as Baringo giraffes) are in trouble in the wild with current estimates suggesting that just 1,100 of these creatures remain in the wild. Approximately one third of the world population of this species is held in captive institutions. Here they participate in the breeding program which has led to the birth of these three calves.

Previously this species could be found throughout Kenya, Uganda and Sudan but now they have been reduced to a few, small, isolated populations.

Giraffes have come under threat for a number of reasons including habitat loss, poaching and hunting for their tails which are seen to be a good luck charm and are also used for sewing thread and fly swats.

Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

By Cale Russell is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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