The stunning Rothschild’s Giraffes at Al Ain Zoo. The oldest of them is 25 years old. Image Credit: WAM

AL AIN: The Al Ain Zoo is now home to 19 Rothschild’s Giraffes, classified as “endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due the continuous destruction of their natural habitats and illegal hunting.

The most senior of this lot is a 25 year old giraffe, which is native to the African desert savannah.

As part of Al Ain Zoo’s efforts to protect rare and endangered species, it has paid special attention to the safety and well-being of the Rothschild’s Giraffes. The zoo started housing the Rothschild’s Giraffes back in 1974, providing them with the utmost levels of care and initiated a breeding programme. Now, the Rothschild’s Giraffe family has successfully grown to six males and 13 females.

Giraffes are known to be the tallest mammals on the planet, and the Rothschild’s measures up to two metres in height at birth, reaching up to 5.8 metres in adulthood. Their prehensile tongue is around 45cm long in order to wrap around high branches and strip the leaves that make up the bulk of their diet.