- Thursday, 16 March 2017 10:11
Giraffes are pregnant for a period between 14 and 15 months and give birth whilst standing up. So after a long wait it was a big drop for the baby but this helps break the amniotic sac. Calves stand approximately 6 feet tall at birth and need to be able to walk within the first hour of their life. It can take less than a day for them to be able to run. When the calf is about 4 months old, she will start eating leaves. Since giraffes are ruminants, animals with four-part stomachs, eating solids begins the ruminating process. Our giraffes have a diet consisting of browse, specialised pellets and lucerne hay. In the wild, giraffes live about 15 years, while captive giraffes often reach age 25 or older.
Rothschild’s are one of the most endangered distinct populations of giraffe, with 1500 individuals estimated in the wild. Our successful breeding herd are part of a world-wide conservation programme to support the breeding of the species in captivity. For those living in the wild they now remain in protected areas in Kenya and Uganda. Giraffes suffer from habitat loss as well as poaching for their skins, meat and even their tails are sadly turned into trinkets. In the past 15 years the wild population of giraffes has gone down by 40%. This highlights the importance of captive populations and successful breeding programmes such as ours, as well as raising awareness about their conservation.
We now have 10 individual giraffes here at Flamingo Land as we also have a herd of 3 females and a male that are mixed with our Grant’s zebras and ostriches. Should you come visit you are sure to easily spot the tallest animal in the world here at our zoo. The most exciting time for keepers and guests are the arrival of new animals and our new baby girl can be seen in the ‘Lost Kingdom’ section of our park.