Project Blog

Welcome two baby Rothschild Giraffe

  8th November 2010

So today I went out into the field as normal to find some giraffe and set about collecting my data and daily observations. There is a group of females that I have not seen for about a week now, so as I was driving along, imagine my delight as I saw one of them stick her head out from behind an Acacia tree. "Aha!" I thought, "there you are!" I started to drive over to them when I noticed that in fact there were quite a few giraffe around that area - hidden away in the bushes which is not normal for that time of day. So I stopped and just watched for a while, and then saw the most delightful sight... a little newborn baby at her mother's feet! Suddenly it all became clear and explained why the females had not been seen for a few days - female giraffe will often go and hide away to give birth, and hide their young in the bush for a few weeks while it gains strength and the ability to be agile.

 There was much excitement as I took lots of photos of the calf since I now need to create a new ID sheet for him or her, and assign him/her a new ID number. I had my Research Assistant, Kaz in the car with me – Kaz has been here for about two weeks now so she was very excited to witness her first wild newborn giraffe. I also had an American volunteer with me too – Mike Bona, who is a giraffe keeper at LA Zoo in the states. Even though he has seen calving giraffe many times before at his zoo, this was his first ‘wild’ baby so we were all pretty excited.

So excited in fact, that we almost missed the SECOND newborn giraffe that then came wobbling out of the bushes! Two newborns in the space of ten minutes, we couldn’t believe our luck!! Another photography session ensued and we were able to get some really great shots of the new calves with their mothers. They were so funny to watch – venturing a few feet away from Mum and then apparently getting a bit scared and running back (albeit wobbly!) for a bit of comfort and security by Mum’s knees. I am looking forward to watching these little ones grow and develop over the coming months, and observe how their behaviour changes as they get older.

And of course, I need to say a big congratulations to new mothers F006 and F013! Two new Rothschild’s giraffe in a day – great news and a vital addition to this Endangered giraffe subspecies.

Zoe Muller

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