West Midland Safari Park Celebrate After The Birth Of Two New Giraffes

Staff at West Midland Safari Park are celebrating the birth of two Rothschild's giraffes; one of the rarest sub-species of giraffe in the world.

The exciting new youngsters, standing at six feet tall, are the first successes of a breeding programme for Rothschild's giraffe, put in place with the arrival of five adults three years ago.

The first news came on 9th August when, after a pregnancy lasting 15 months, five year old Bwindi gave birth to the first new arrival. The second cute youngster arrived with a bump on 4th September, born to five year old Akacia.

The news has given a boost to world-wide giraffe conservation efforts. Rothschild's giraffes used to roam in large numbers across the plains of Sudan, Kenya and Uganda, but it is thought that there are fewer than 2,500 individuals left in the wild today. Deputy Head of Ungulates, Lisa Watkins, said:

“This is fantastic news not only for the Park, but also for Rothschild’s giraffe conservation. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) lists them as 'endangered' and with numbers declining every day, due to habitat loss and poaching, we hope that our adorable leggy newcomers will help highlight the very real danger the species faces.”

“It’s absolutely brilliant to have two healthy babies. Both mums and youngsters are doing well and I'm sure dad, five year old Rufus, will be keeping his eyes on them when they are out and about, causing mischief!”

West Midland Safari Park is home to a small herd of Rothschild's giraffes, introduced three years ago with the arrival of four females from zoos around Europe and male Rufus, from Flamingo Land. Keepers hope that the success of these births bodes well and they can look forward to welcoming some brothers and sisters in years to come.


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