Lake Nakuru, Kenya
While giraffes in general are classified as Least Concern, the Rothschild Giraffe is at particular risk of hybridisation since the population is so limited in numbers. There are very few locations where the Rothschild Giraffe can be seen in the wild, with notable spots being Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya and Murchison Falls National Park in northern Uganda.
Rothschild Giraffes are easily distinguishable from other subspecies. The most obvious sign is in the colouring of the coat - where the Reticulated Giraffe has very clearly defined dark patches with bright whitish channels between them, the Rothschild Giraffe more closely resembles the Masai Giraffe. However, when compared to the Masai Giraffe, the Rothschild subspecies is paler, the orange-brown patches are less jagged and sharp in shape and the connective channel is of a creamier hue compared to that seen on the Reticulated Giraffe. In addition, the Rothschild Giraffe displays no markings on the lower leg, giving the impression that it is wearing white stockings.
Another distinguishing feature of the Rothschild Giraffe, although harder to spot, is the number of horns on the head. This is the only subspecies to be born with five 'horns'. Two of these are 'true' horns at the top of the head, in common with all giraffes. The third 'horn' can often be seen in the centre of the giraffe's forehead and the other two behind each ear. They are also taller than many other subspecies, measuring up to 20 feet tall.
Oct 4, 2011
Hold Your Head Up High