Singapore Zoo showcases the Rothschild giraffes of India


Visitors viewing giraffes at the Singapore Zoo. (Wikimedia Commons / Sheba)

The Singapore Zoo family is growing with two Rothschild giraffes from India. The world’s largest mammal has made its public appearance after nine days of land and sea travel. They must remain in quarantine for three months. The new arrivals have settled in well with father and son giraffes, Marco and Jubilee.

Singapore Zoo welcomes new family members

These two Rothschild male giraffes arrived in Singapore on May 26. Named Adhil and Balaji, they endured a 22-hour interstate journey. It all started at Mysuru Zoo in India, a day in detention and a week at sea.

“Serving around three months quarantine under the watchful eyes of animal care and veterinary teams since their arrival, the two giraffes have since settled down in their new habitat, feasting on a daily diet of hay, herbivores and leaves of star fruit, jackfruit, and acacia trees, ”Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) said in a press release.

Rothschild giraffes

Rothschild giraffes are native to Kenya and Uganda. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has classified this animal as endangered. Currently, there are less than 2000 subspecies roaming the wild.

They are also known as Baringo or Ugandan Giraffes and are northern subspecies. It takes its name from the London zoologist Lionel Water Rothschild. He first characterized the subspecies in the early 1900s.

The Rothschild giraffe is one of the largest subspecies, reaching 6 meters tall. The colors of its skin are unique compared to other giraffes. Their patterns stop halfway through their stems. They live in small herds called towers, in which males and females live far outside the breeding season.

The diet of these herbivores includes stems, fruits, stems and leaves. Males can consume up to 130 kg of leaves per day. Threats to their lives include deforestation, poaching, land conversion, increase in human population.

Local governments and international conservation groups have issued laws and measures to protect these animals and their habitat.

Long journey to a new home

In 2010, Mysuru Zoo and WRS partnered to trade lion-tailed macaques and sloth bears. They talked about the transfer of the animals in 2018, before the calf is born in 2020. However, concerns arise due to the lack of cargo flights for the transfer of the animal to the Singapore Zoo. The WRS team sought advice and guidance from other zoos that had experience in transferring giraffes by sea.

The team designed custom crates with flexible tops, allowing the giraffes to fully extend their necks. This will also allow them to “dodge” when passing road infrastructure.

Adhil and Balaji will be part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums program, according to WRS. The goal of the campaign is to maintain robust and reliable animal populations under human governance. This is for both conservation and educational purposes.

Meanwhile, WRS’s River Safari celebrated the birth of Singapore’s first giant panda baby. Kai Kai and Jia Jia, the little one’s parents, arrived in the country in 2012. They will return to China after a 10-year loan.

Currently, the 6 week old baby panda weighs almost 3 kilograms. Wildlife Reserves Singapore makes sure to monitor the baby panda 24/7 to ensure it is always in good condition.

The Chinese Giant Panda Conservation and Research Center and the animal’s keeper have confirmed the cub’s sex. WRS invites the public to name the baby panda before it turns 100 days old.

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