1. ITV Report

Chester Zoo celebrates arrival of endangered baby giraffe

The little one was born to mother Orla earlier this month. Credit: Chester Zoo

A rare baby giraffe born at Chester Zoo has begun to explore outside.

Karamoja, who is two weeks old, is already more than 6ft tall and weighs around 80 kilos.

She's the first female Rothschild’s giraffe to be born at the zoo in several years.

The calf is being called Mojo for short. Credit: Chester Zoo

She's a rare Rothschild’s giraffe - the second to be born at the zoo in the space of just two months.

Her eight-week-old brother, Mburo arrived earlier this year.

Conservationists at the zoo say the pair are "vitally important" additions to the global breeding programme, working to safeguard the future of the species.

It's hoped she will help protect her species from extinction. Credit: Chester Zoo

The calf was named after the region in Uganda where zoo conservationists are working to protect some of the last remaining populations of wild Rothschild’s giraffes.

Mojo and her older brother have begun to explore their outdoor home. Credit: Chester Zoo

Mike Jordan, Collections Director at the zoo, said she's settling into the herd really well.

“Having had a succession of boys born here in recent years, it’s wonderful to now have a little girl running around too.

"She’s full of energy and will certainly be keeping the herd busy, especially now they have two youngsters to contend with!"

The birth of a Rothschild’s giraffe is always reason for huge celebration, particularly given how few they number in the wild. But to have two born in the space of just eight weeks, one male and one female, is a terrific double boost for the breeding programme that’s part of a coordinated effort to prevent their extinction

– Mike Jordan, Chester Zoo

What is a Rothschild’s giraffe?

  • one of the most endangered of the nine sub-species of giraffe
  • named after zoologist Lord Walter Rothschild, founder of the National History Museum
  • broader dividing white lines than other giraffe types
  • they have no spots beneath the knee
  • survives in a few small, isolated populations in Kenya and Uganda
  • less than 2,650 Rothschild’s giraffes remain in the wild
  • the main threat to the species now is loss of habitat and poaching for meat and hides