Rothschild’s Giraffe Natural History
These tall animals can reach 6m in height with males being taller than females and weighing as much as 1930kg.
Habitat and Distribution
Giraffe are found in many countries across southern and eastern Africa. However, this particular subspecies is found in areas of Kenya, Sudan and Uganda.
The lifespan of a Rothschild’s giraffe is up to 30 years.
They feed mostly on twigs from trees (complete with bark and leaves) but also eats some fruits and grasses.
Groups and Breeding
Giraffe are able to breed from about 4 years of age. One young is usually born after a 15 month pregnancy but twins can occur on rare occasions. Young will almost double their height in their first year and will also be weaned within 12 months too. However, they can start eating solid food from just a few weeks of age. Females with young sometimes gather to create a ‘nursery’ so that mothers can take turns feeding while their calves play.
This species is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List and their population continues to decline. The biggest threat is habitat destruction and degradation for farming but also hunting for bush meat (particularly by soldiers).
Their natural predators include lions, hyenas, leopards and wild dogs who will hunt the young.
Around 34kg of foliage per day is required to maintain an adult giraffe
A new born giraffe is around 1.7-2 meters tall and is already relatively well developed (being able to already run within several hours) after a 400-460 day gestation period.
The Rothschild’s Giraffe During Your Day Out in Kent
We are currently home to two Rothschild’s giraffes called Robin and Ruedi who both joined our park in March 2020. The pair were born only a day apart in 2017 but you can tell them apart easily as Reudi is much taller the Robin. Surprisingly, despite being taller Reudi is a little shyer than Robin who is a very confident and food orientated boy!
Here our keepers feed them a diet of browse, linseed pellets, Lucerne and carrots as treats.