Facts About The Rothschild Giraffes : The Rothschild giraffe is a subspecies of the Northern giraffe species which is the three horned giraffe and a native to the northern part of Africa.
The Rothschild giraffe is named after Walter Rothschild who was a popular zoologist and the founder of the Tring Museum. The Rothschild giraffe is found in east African countries of Kenya and Uganda. In Kenya the Rothschild giraffe is known as Baringo giraffe, named after Lake Baringo and in Uganda it’s called the Ugandan giraffe. The Rothschild giraffe is also referred to as a watch tower of the Serengeti due to its height thus making it to watch its predators from a distance and give a warning to its herd and other animals as well. The following are the amazing facts about the Rothschild giraffes;
According to IUCN Red list the Rothschild giraffe was listed on the endangered list and it is the second threatened species. The actual number is difficult but the estimated number or population of the giraffes is 1,399 mature Rothschild’s giraffes in the wild
HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
The adult Rothschild giraffes weigh between 1800 and 2500 pounds with the adult males weighing more than the females. At birth the giraffes weigh around 150 pounds.
For the case of height, the mature Rothschild’s giraffe is between 16 and 19 feet with males being larger than females. The young ones can be 5 and half feet tall at birth. All in all giraffes are the tallest land mammals.
The Rothschild’s giraffe is an herbivore which means that it exists on plants thus prefer new, young shoots, leaves and bark from trees and shrubs. The acacia trees are a particular favorite of the giraffe. The giraffe has a tough and long tongue plus the teeth which is well suited for their diet and this allows them to strip the leaves from the limbs easily. The tongue also enables them to strip the leaves from the stems and branches that have thorns.
The Rothschild’s giraffe are large and the adults eat about 75 pounds of food each day. The required amount of food that a giraffe needs to maintain its weight means it spends 16 and 20 hours eating each day.
The giraffes are ruminants meaning their stomachs have multiple chambers thus if they are not eating they are eating their cud and thus don’t need water because of the water rich foods they eat.
The Rothschild’s giraffe live in the desert and savanna grasslands as well as woodland which comprises of scattered tall trees and open forests where they can feed from or run around. These are primarily located in the eastern Uganda and western Kenya. They are among the fastest animals where they can run with a speed of 56kilometers per hour and this is because of their height and long neck. The Rothschild’s giraffe can’t live in the dense forest because of the dense forests which makes there movement and feeding difficult
The male giraffes aren’t social as the females therefore they show dominance among the herds by fighting. While eating the males get food at a higher elevation than the females who get food at their body height.
The Rothschild giraffes can breed at any time of the year but have a gestation period of 14 to 16 months and give birth to one calf. Although for the case of twins, it has not been heard of. The males spar for dominance before breeding and begin the breeding at an older age than females.
When the females give birth, she separates herself from the herd and stays for 10 days to a month after birth. She returns with her young one to the safety herd and nurse her calf for about one year.
The male calves leave their mothers at 15 months and join other young males forming a bachelor group. The female separates from their mother at 18 months and remain in the same family group they were born in.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ROTHSCHILD GIRAFFE
The Rothschild’s giraffe is so much different from the other giraffes in terms of the coat colour which has a dark orange and brown patches with beige and creamy white all over.
The Rothschild’s giraffe have white socks on the legs which proceed up to the knees and three horns for the males and two horns for the females. Two of them are in the same place and the third in the center of their forehead.
A giraffe moves both right legs simultaneously followed by the left legs and the neck which contains seven vertebrae same as that of humans.
HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE A MALE AND FEMALE GIRAFE
Amale grows up to 20 feet tall with a weight of about 3,600 pounds while the female grows up to 16 feet tall with a weight of 2,600 pounds
A male giraffe grows darker in colour at an old age while the females maintain their colour.
A male Rothschild giraffe is bigger in size than the female giraffe
The males have three ossicones and develop calcium deposits that form bumps on their skulls which makes it look like an additional horn. The calcium deposits protect the heads of the male Rothschild’s giraffe during a fight whereas the females have 2 ossicones with thinner and far on them.
WHERE TO FIND THE ROTHSCHILD GIRAFFES
The Rothschild’s giraffes are found in the national parks in Uganda and Kenya such as Lake Nakuru national park, Masai Mara national park and Nairobi national park and Murchison falls national park, Lake Mburo national park and Queen Elizabeth national park. In Rwanda the Rothschild giraffes can be found in Akagera national park although they are in few numbers compared to those in Uganda and Kenya.
However in the urge to increase the number of the Rothschild giraffes in the wild, some places have been established such as in Nairobi the giraffe center has been put in place and in Uganda Pian Upe wildlife reserve.