Announcing the Birth of Endangered Rothschild's Giraffe Calf
The birth is exciting for keepers, but is vital for conservation. Rothschild’s giraffes are classified as ‘Endangered’ by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) and are amongst the rarest mammals in the world; there are now thought to be less than 1,600 individuals remaining in the wild. They are restricted to a few isolated populations in Kenya and Uganda.
The calf’s birth marks an important achievement for the Park as well as for the European Endangered Species Programme.
The healthy male baby was born a few weeks overdue to experienced mother; 12-year old Freya, and 14-year old father, Caspar in Woburn’s new giraffe house. The calf - Freya’s fifth baby - joins siblings still living with the herd; Nkuru and Onyx.
Keepers have named the newborn 'Arrow' as there are five arrows on the Rothschild coat of arms.
The baby giraffe was born in the early morning of Sunday 14th May in the brand new giraffe house on the Road Safari, which offers access to a yard and boasts a high-tech heating system and a deep bed of straw which helps the calf keep its footing.
Giraffe at Woburn remain together with the herd during pregnancy and birthing, and keepers give individuals the choice of where and how they calve, noting they seem more settled and take reassurance from their strong maternal and sibling bonds within the social group.
Freya lives alongside her sisters and her mother, 18 year-old Savannah, who has been paying the new arrival lots of attention. Savannah is also mother to last calf born at the park, the new baby’s aunt; Quinn, who arrived in December 2016.
Lindsay Banks, Senior Keeper at Woburn Safari Park said:
“Like most newborns, the calf will usually spend a large part of the first week sleeping and feeding, although we have already seen the calf stretching his legs chasing its aunt Quinn around the yard. It is likely as the youngest members of the herd, that Quinn and the calf will spend more time together and will form a bond.”