New arrival has a head for heights

Contributed by editor on Jul 12, 2006 - 01:24 PM


Keepers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, near Hythe are standing tall after the birth of a very special baby, who still towers over most of us at an impressive 6 feet.

The new addition is a rare Rothschild Giraffe, and is the first baby at the park since giraffes were added to the African Experience. 

The baby boy named Karamoja is doing well, despite the fact that mum Amber, as all giraffes do, stood while giving birth causing the infant to drop more than a metre.

Mum and baby will be joining the rest of the herd on the African experience in the next few weeks.

The Rothschild Giraffe is threatened by interbreeding with other giraffe subspecies as animals are relocated from one region to another, often crossing natural boundaries that have traditionally kept the subspecies distinct.

An international breeding program for the Rothschild Giraffe has been established to protect the subspecies from extinction. Animals born in captivity may provide a genetic resource that can enrich the wild population. In years to come it may even be feasible to introduce captive-born animals to the wild.