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Tuesday, 13 May 2014
Dublin Zoo is celebrating the birth of a male Rothschild giraffe, born last Wednesday, 7th May at 11.10pm. The calf stands tall at 1.7 metres and weighs an estimated 70kg.
The giraffe calf made his first outside appearance in the African Savanna on Monday (12th May), at five days old. He was born to experienced parents Maeve and Robin and joins a herd of eight giraffes at Dublin Zoo.
Gerry Creighton, operations manager at Dublin Zoo said, “The calf was born on Wednesday night in the giraffe house, with the other female members of the herd present. Maeve is an experienced mother and is very attentive towards the calf.
“He took his first steps outside into the African Savanna to meet the rest of the herd yesterday and it could not have gone better. The calf was also introduced to his father Robin for the first time this week.
The Rothschild giraffe is one of the most threatened of the nine giraffe sub-species. Rothschild male giraffes grow to six metres in height and can weigh over 2000kg. Fewer than 670 remain in the wild.
Facts about giraffes:
- Giraffes spend much of their day feeding stripping leaves off tree branches and to prevent the tongue getting sunburned the tongue is a dark blue colour.
- Each giraffe has its own unique pattern of coat markings like finger prints for humans
- Giraffes are the tallest of all living mammals
- Giraffes sleep standing up - but only for short periods, as they remain alert for predators.
- The species has just seven vertebrae in its neck - the same as a human being or a mouse - despite having one of the longest necks of all animals.
*Sourced: The Rothschild Giraffe Project and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.