Two endangered Rothschild’s giraffe calves have been born hours apart at Woburn Safari Park.
The first calf was born to experienced 13-year-old mother Danica in the new giraffe house on the Road Safari, in the early hours of the morning on Sunday, June 25.
Six-year-old Lindsay then gave birth to her first baby calf at lunch time, 32 hours later. It is the first time in Woburn’s history that two giraffe calves have been born in such short succession of each other.
The arrival of the as-yet unsexed and unnamed calves comes just weeks after the birth of an adorable male calf named Arrow, after the coat of arms from the Rothschild’s family.
Rothschild’s giraffes are classified as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and are amongst the rarest mammals in the world.
There are now thought to be less than 1,600 individuals remaining in the wild and they are restricted to a few isolated populations in Kenya and Uganda.
The new arrivals at the zoo in Woburn mark an important achievement for the Park as well as the European Endangered Species Programme.
Lindsay Banks, senior keeper at Woburn Safari Park, said: “We feel very lucky to have had the birth of two new calves, which is unusual in such a short space of time.
“The rest of the herd have naturally taken an interest in the new youngsters and the calves are already spending a lot of time with each other and Arrow, who was born in May.
“Over the next few weeks they will be doing a lot of sleeping, feeding, playing and exploring the yard and the main reserve.”
There are 15 Rothschild’s giraffes at Woburn Safari Park, part of the Northern giraffe species.
The giraffes at the park remain together with the herd during pregnancy and birthing, and keepers give individuals the choice of where and how they calve.
A spokesman added: "Following its most recent Zoo Inspection on 31st March 2017, Woburn Safari Park demonstrated its continual improvement to animal welfare and animal management, by showing full compliance with the Zoo Licence conditions of 2016.
"A new state of the art Giraffe house has been constructed and significant improvements continue to be made to the conservation efforts of the park."