Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi
Rothschild’s giraffes, also known as Baringo giraffes, are one of the most endangered of the nine giraffe sub-species. The Rothschild’s giraffe can be distinguished from other sub-species by its white leg stockings which have no markings on them.
Giraffes are the tallest of all land mammals, growing up to 6 metres in height. The gestation period is 15 months and when young are born they can stand at 5 to 6 feet in height. Their necks may be long but they still only have the seven vertebrate which are common to all mammals, including us. They also have long, tough, dark-coloured tongues which they use to pick leaves off trees. Special splayed incisor teeth also help them to strip the leaves away from the branches.
Belfast Zoo is home to an award-winning breeding herd of Rothschild’s giraffe that share their enclosure with Grant’s zebra and ostrich, like they would in their savannah home.
On Sunday 7 May 2017 after a 15-month pregnancy, Gilbert was born to mother, Daisy and father, Finn.
The IUCN believes these giraffes are widespread throughout much of their wild range. However, they also think some populations have declined and believe there may be between 40 and a few hundred giraffes living in some parts of the wild.
Desert and savannah
Experts believe there are around 141,000 giraffes left in the wild. Southern populations are stable but other species, including the Rothschild’s, western and reticulated varieties, could be reduced to a few small, protected populations.
Herbivore. Giraffes eat new shoots, leaves and bark of shrubs and trees. They particularly like acacia trees.