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Giraffes will be translocated to Lake Mburo National Park

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 MPM0239-web
Fifteen giraffes will on June 30 hit the road from Murchison Falls National Park in northern Uganda to Lake Mburo in western Uganda.

The purpose of translocating these giraffes is to ensure survival of this endangered species. The Rothschild's Giraffes are estimated to be not more than  1600 in the world, 700 in captivity around the world and  about 800 can be found in the wild with the biggest population in Uganda.

Rothschild's giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi) is one of the most endangered giraffe subspecies, with only a few hundred members in the wild. It is named after the Tring Museum's founder, Walter Rothschild, and is also known as the Baringo giraffe, after the Lake Baringo area of Kenya, or as the Ugandan giraffe. All of those living in the wild are in protected areas in Kenya and Uganda.

One major distinguishing feature of Rothschild's giraffe, although harder to spot, is the number of ossicones on the head. This is the only subspecies to be born with five ossicones. Two of these are the larger and more obvious ones at the top of the head, which are common to all giraffes. The third ossicone can often be seen in the center of the giraffe's forehead, and the other two are behind each ear. They are also taller than many other subspecies, measuring up to six metres tall (20 ft).

Rothschild's giraffes mate at any time of the year and have a gestation period of 14 to 16 months, typically giving birth to a single calf. They live in small herds, with males and females (and their calves) living separately, only mixing for mating.

Males are larger than females and their two largest ossicones are usually bald from sparring. They usually tend to be darker in colour than the females, although this is not a guaranteed sexing indicator.

More translocations will be made in future to Queen Elizabeth National Park and also the Southern Bank sector of murchison Falls National Park

The giraffes will also help to forage a weed, acacia hockii, which has been growing out of hand in recent years.

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