At just five days old, Sanyu the Giraffe calf is already walking -and sometimes running - tall with the rest of the herd at the United Kingdom’s Chester Zoo.
Photo Credit: Chester Zoo
The five-foot-tall youngster – a rare Rothschild’s Giraffe – took his very first steps in the sunshine after being born on June 7. He is the second calf to be born at the zoo in just six months. Sanyu, whose name means “happiness” in Swahili, is the first male to be born at the zoo in recent years, with the previous four calves before him being female.
“Sanyu has had a busy week getting used to his long legs, learning about his surroundings and settling in with the rest of the herd. He’s doing really well so far under the watchful guidance of his mum Dagmar,” said Giraffe team manager Sarah Roffe.
Also known as Baringo or Ugandan Giraffes, this subspecies can be identified by the broader white lines dividing its spots and the lack of spots below the knees.
There are fewer Rothschild’s Giraffes left in the wild than either African Elephants or Giant Pandas. Rothschild’s Giraffes were listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2010 after estimates suggested less than 1,100 are left in the wild – making them one of the world’s most endangered Giraffe subspecies. Once wide-ranging across Kenya, Uganda, and Sudan, Rothschild’s Giraffes have been almost totally eliminated from much of their former range and now survive in only a few small, isolated populations in Kenya and Uganda.
See more photos of Sanyu below.