Rothschild’s Giraffe

The Rothschild’s Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi) is an endangered species of giraffe found only in protected grassland reserves in Uganda and Kenya. It is also known as the Baringo Giraffe or the Ugandan Giraffe.

It is the tallest giraffe and reaches a height of up to 5.9 metres (19.3 feet). It is an ungulate mammal, which means that it is hoofed. It has a long neck of two metres (6.5 feet) with seven vertebrae (bones) and a short mane. It has long thin, but powerful, legs about two metres (6.5) long. They can kick other animals to death, and they can run up to 35 miles per hour.

They also have long tongues of about 45-51 centimetres (18-20 inches) and big eyes, the size of golf balls. Their tails have a tuft of hair at the end.

The Rothschild’s Giraffe has irregular shapes on cream fur that are paler than Masai Giraffes. They have no markings on their lower legs. Their lower legs are white. Males are usually darker than females.

The Rothschild’s Giraffe has five ossicones (like small horns) on its head. It is the only giraffe with five ossicones. Every giraffe has ossicones on the top of their head, usually two, but the Rothschild’s Giraffe has an ossicone in the centre of its forehead and behind their ears.

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Rothschild’s Giraffe with five ossicones on its head

The Rothschild’s Giraffes  spend most of the day feeding. They are browsers and can spend 16-20 hours eating every day eating. They eat the leaves of the thorny acacia trees, as well as twigs, fruits, and flowers.

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Rothschild’s Giraffes

They sleep for only short periods at a time.

Male Rothschild’s Giraffes fight for dominance by hitting their necks around each other. This is called necking.

Females are pregnant for about 14-15 months before giving birth to a baby, called a calf. The calf is about 1.8 metres (6 feet) tall at birth and can walk almost straight away.

They can live for 10-15 years in the wild.

 

 

Rothschild's giraffe

Rothschild’s Giraffe

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Rothschild’s Giraffe’s hoof

 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

 

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