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Rothschild’s giraffe

Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi

Female Rothschild's giraffe at Paignton Zoo
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Mammals
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Giraffidae

Paignton Zoo is home to an all-female herd of giraffes: Janica, Otilie, Joanna, Eliska and Florrie.

This giraffe subspecies, also known as the Baringo giraffe, is native to savannahs, open woodlands and grasslands of Kenya and Uganda, Africa.

All giraffes are herbivores and their long necks are specially adapted to reach the leaves of tall trees such as the acacia. They can also eat fruit, shoots and browse.

Interesting facts!

  • Each giraffe has their own beautiful markings, which can help to tell apart individuals. The Rothschild’s giraffe specifically also exhibits no brown patch markings below the knee on the lower leg.
  • The only relative of the giraffe in the Giraffidae family is the okapi – another long-necked mammal native to Africa.
  • A giraffe’s powerful tongue can be up to 20 inches long. It is a dark colour to help protect it from sunburn!
  • Giraffes can mate at any time of year, and after a very long gestation of 14 to 16 months females give birth to a single calf. The calf is already around 6 foot tall when born.

Conservation

Poaching and degradation of their habitat are the main reasons that this species is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List, although their numbers are thought to be much lower than their current assessment. Many Rothschild’s giraffes are kept in protected areas for their preservation, but it is still vital to breed and learn more about this species within zoological collections.

Our giraffes are involved in the EAZA ex-situ breeding programme (EEP) for the species.


Adopt a giraffe

By adopting a giraffe at the zoo, your money will go towards the care of our giraffes and vital wildlife conservation projects across the world.

Our adoption packs make an amazing gift for animal lovers of any age. Prices start from as little as £25 per year (that’s less than £3 per month!) with a variety of packs to choose from.

Book a giraffe experience

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Get up close with the giraffes and help out with their feeding time.

You’ll have the chance to chat with one of our knowledgeable keepers and learn all about each individual giraffe from the people that know them the best!