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Giraffe Calf Born
Friday, 20 July 2012
Dublin Zoo is celebrating the birth of Rothschild giraffe, born on July 4th. The female calf stands tall at six foot and takes after her mother Maeve with her light tan coat. This is Maeve’s second calf at Dublin Zoo as she gave birth to Arria nearly two years ago.
The giraffe calf made her first appearance in the African Savanna just three days after she was born. She joins a herd of ten giraffes of which six are pure Rothschild giraffes, including her sister Arria.
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 700 now live in the wild*. Their coat is a distinct mix of dark patches that are broken up by bright cream channels.
She has officially been named Tamu! Meaning ‘sweet one’
in Swahili, the suggestion was submitted by Grainne Byrne of Summerhill, County Meath.
Helen Clarke-Bennet, team leader of the African Plains said: “Tamu is doing very well standing tall at six feet with a pale tan coat which makes her easily recognizable amongst the herd. She is an extremely well adjusted and relaxed calf, following the herd wherever they wander
We received an overwhelming number of superb suggestions and picking the winning entry was not easy. We chose the name Tamu as it fits her personality perfectly!”
Facts about giraffes:
- Giraffes spend much of their day feeding so nature has provided them with dark blue tongues to prevent them from getting sunburned
- Each giraffe has its own unique pattern of coat markings like finger prints for humans
- Giraffes are the tallest of all living land mammals
- Giraffes sleep standing up - but only for five minutes at a time, as they remain alert for predators, and a total of about two hours a day.
- The species has just seven vertebrae in its neck - the same as a human being or a mouse - despite having one of the longest in the animal kingdom.
*Sourced: The Rothschild Giraffe project and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.