Singapore Zoo Introduces Rothschild’s Giraffes from India

Image credit to Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Singapore Zoo family gets larger with two Rothschild’s giraffes that journeyed from India. The tallest mammal on earth made its public appearance after nine days of land and sea journey. They need to stay in quarantine for three months. The newcomers settled well with father and son giraffes, Marco and Jubilee.

Singapore Zoo Welcomes New Family Members

These two male Rothschild’s giraffes made it to Singapore on May 26. Named Adhil and Balaji, they endured a 22-hour interstate journey. It started at India’s Mysuru Zoo, a day of holding and a week at sea.

“Serving a three-month quarantine under the watchful eyes of the animal care and veterinary teams since their arrival, both giraffes have since settled well into their new habitat, feasting on a daily diet of hay, herbivore pellets, and leaves of starfruit, jackfruit, and acacia trees,” said Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) in a media release.

Rothschild’s Giraffes

Rothschild’s giraffes are native to Kenya and Uganda. The International Union for Conservation of Nature classified this animal as on the verge of endangerment. Currently, there are less than 2,000 subspecies that roam the wild.

They are also known as Baringo or Ugandan giraffes and are Northern subspecies. It got its name from the London zoologist Lionel Water Rothschild. He initially characterized the subspecies in the early 1900s.

The Rothschild’s giraffe is one of the tallest subspecies which can grow to a height of 6 meters. The colors in its hide are one-of-a-kind compared to other giraffes. Their patterns stop halfway down their shanks. They live in small herds called towers, in which males and females live distantly outside of the breeding season.

These herbivores’ diet includes stems, fruit, stems, and leaves. Males can consume up to 130kg of leaves in a day. Threats to their lives include deforestation, poaching, land conversion, increase in the human population.

Local governments and international conservation groups issued laws and measures to protect the said animals and their habitat.

Long Journey to New Home

In 2010, Mysuru Zoo and WRS established their partnership to exchange lion-tailed macaques and sloth bears. They talked about the transfer of the animals in 2018, before the calve’s birth in 2020. However, concerns arise due to the lack of freight flights for the animal’s transfer to Singapore Zoo. The WRS team asked other zoos for guidance and advice which had experience in transferring giraffes by sea.

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

Adhil and Balaji will become a part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria program, according to WRS. The campaign’s goal is to maintain robust and reliable animal populations under human governance. It is for both conservation and educational purposes.

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

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

The China Conservation and Research Centre for Giant Panda and the animal’s caretaker confirmed the cub’s gender. WRS invites the public to give the baby panda a name before it turns 100 days old.