Baby Giraffe in Hampshire

27 April 2010, 12:19

Marwell Wildlife is celebrating the birth of its first pure bred Rothschild giraffe. Keepers have named the new addition Nsia, which means ‘the sixth born child’ in Akan, a language spoken in Ghana, west Africa. Pronounced ‘nseeah’, the name is very apt as she is the sixth calf born to her mother, Matilda.

Giraffes are the tallest land animals in the world. When Nsia was born (5.30pm on Monday 19 April) she was already standing 6ft tall and weighing around 120lb (55 kilos). She will stay close to her mother for the next few months and will take several years to reach the lofty heights of Matilda, who stands at 14ft.

Nsia can be seen with her parents and the rest of the giraffe herd at Marwell Wildlife, which also includes Christa, Matilda’s previous calf. Section Manager, Ian Goodwin said: “We are all excited by the birth of our first pure bred Rothschild giraffe and hope Nsia’s arrival is the first of many.”

Giraffe 2Nsia’s arrival represents a significant milestone towards the conservation of this endangered sub-species. Both Nsia’s parents, Matilda and Kismet, are pure bred Rothschild’s giraffes, a sub-species of giraffe that are in danger of extinction. It is believed that there are only around 600 Rothschild giraffes left in a few protected areas in Kenya and in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.

There is only one species of giraffe, with nine currently recognised sub-species. The different sub-species can be identified by their different patterns and also from where they originate from in Africa. Rothschild giraffes can be easily distinguished from other giraffes by their white socks and darker centres to their brown patches.

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