I absolutely love giraffes! Especially the Rothschild Giraffe.
So majestic and understated – and did you know that there is 1 species with 9 sub-species and they are the tallest living terrestrial (land) animal (at up to 5.7 meters) and the largest ruminant (plant eating / herbivore) on the planet? However new data released on May 5th reveal a strong case that there may well be 4 distinct giraffe species based on new Genomic Level Analysis, with several sub-species. ‘This is paramount in correctly assessing their individual conservation status and afford each species adequate protection’ 1.
The different sub-species all vary in markings, colourations, number of horn-like ossicones and each giraffe has a coat pattern that is unique – much like our fingerprints.
The different sub-species includes: Rothschild giraffe (named after London zoologist Lionel Water Rothschild who first described the subspecies in the early 1900s), Kordofan giraffe, Nubian giraffe, West African giraffe, Reticulated giraffe, Angolan giraffe, South African giraffe, Masai giraffe and the Thornicroft’s giraffe.
Interestingly the Fennessy Family from Melbourne, Australia relocated to Namibia in 2007 to study and save these magnificent animals particularly the Rothschild giraffe which was relatively un-researched. They have now established the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) which is raising awareness and funds to save the species, which unfortunately is now categorized as ‘vulnerable’ and some sub-species up listed as ‘critically endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. There are only about 117,000 giraffes left in the wild. Julian has earned the reputation as one of the worlds foremost giraffe experts and ‘the giraffe whisperer’.
A great event coming up is: World Giraffe Day – 21 June 2021! – please check out Giraffe Conservation Foundation here and become involved in this great cause and celebrate on 21 June!: Click on logo below.
2 Australia Zoo