A rare Rothschild’s giraffe has been born at West Midland Safari Park – the third baby welcomed into the herd in just six months.
The six-foot-tall baby boy arrived on the evening of 14 January to first time mum, five year old Arusha. He joins playmates, Embu and Emali, who were born in August and September 2016.
Rothschild’s giraffe are currently listed as ‘endangered’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). With numbers dropping at an alarming rate annually, giraffes as a whole are facing a “silent extinction,” as reported by Dr. Julian Fennessy, co-chair of the IUCN and Director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF).
The GCF concentrates solely on working towards a sustainable future for all giraffe populations in the wild. Their hard work and dedication has been recognised by the wildlife team at the Safari Park, as they’ve decided to name the baby ‘Fennessy’ in honour of the founders and directors of this brilliant charity.
Dr. Julian Fennessy said, “We are elated to have a baby giraffe named after our family. The kids are super excited and hope it has a bright and prosperous future as an ambassador for all giraffe in the wild. We really appreciate the great partnership we have with West Midland Safari Park and other zoos around the world.
“These partnerships are important for us to get the giraffe conservation message out there. Together we can save giraffe in Africa before it is too late. Join us at the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) and stick your neck out for giraffe!”
Head Keeper of Ungulates at the Park, Lisa Watkins said, “To help us keep track of our animals births, each year is allocated a letter and so in 2017 all our babies’ names will begin with the letter F. We couldn’t think of anything more fitting than naming our new baby ‘Fennessy’ to honour the important work done by GCF.”
She continued, “It’s not an ideal time of year for an African animal to come into the world, however we are able to keep our giraffe house lovely and warm using our biomass boiler heating system. Although Arusha is a first time mum she is taking it all in her stride and has picked up some tips from watching Bwindi and Akacia looking after their calves. We can tell how much Embu and Emali have grown now by looking at our new little arrival.”
Fennessy joins West Midland Safari Park’s herd of giraffes, bringing their numbers up to ten. Guests will be able to see the herd on the four-mile drive-through safari, either out and about or in their yard, weather permitting.
To learn more about the plight of wild giraffes, make a donation or adopt a giraffe, visit the GCF website: www.giraffeconservation.org.
The giraffes can be seen in West Midland Safari Park’s four-mile, self-drive safari, included in the standard admission charge of £23.00 for adults, £18.00 for children aged 3-15 and £21.00 for concessions. Admission includes a voucher for a return ticket or safari gift. Adventure Theme Park rides are charged extra.