A two-week-old male Ugandan giraffe slowly followed his mother, Chinde, into the East Africa habitat at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The lanky calf hesitantly left the area where he has lived since he was born on June 22. With his comparatively short legs, the calf had to run to keep up with his mother’s long, slow strides as she led her baby to a watering hole, where the other giraffes in the exhibit came to sniff and lick the new member of the herd.
Keepers named the calf Congo, after the river in Africa. He measures more than six feet tall and weighs approximately 200 pounds. All giraffe numbers are declining, but of the nine giraffe subspecies, the Ugandan giraffe is the only one that is endangered. It is believed that fewer than 700 of this subspecies remain in only a few small, isolated populations in Kenya and Uganda.
San Diego Zoo Global is partnering with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation to help conserve giraffe in East Africa. In 2015, a team of scientists from the Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research have been developing a conservation project that will include Kenyan pastoralists to find ways to collaborate to protect giraffes in the savanna.
Photo taken on July 6, 2015, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Safari Park.