According to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), there are plans to bring back giraffes to Edinburgh Soon for the first time in over 15 years, in a bid to breed the endangered animals.
The Daily Record reports that a bachelor group of Rothschild’s giraffes will be moved from a separate UK collection of the animals this summer to a new £2.8 million site at Edinburgh Zoo, who will be later joined by female giraffes to continue to the breeding programme.
There are thought to be fewer than 1600 Rothschild’s giraffes left in the wild, and the RZSS hopes that alongside conservation efforts in Africa, they can help revive the dwindling population.
David Field, RZSS’s chief executive, said: “All the major construction work on the giraffe house was completed last year. Now it’s all about landscaping, finishing off the interpretation and making sure all the elements are in place for when the giraffes are ready to come.
“I’m planning on having them in before the summer holidays. We intend to bring in a bachelor herd of five or six young giraffes initially, so visitors have a fantastic experience. Then we’ll bring in breeding females.”
There are fewer than 100,000 giraffes left in the wild, according to estimates, and Rothschild’s giraffes are one of the most endangered species.
RZSS has entered into a partnership with the Glenmorangie whisky distillery and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation to protect the species in the wild and create a habitat for them at Edinburgh Zoo.
Their new compound, a unique landscape built using ring-fenced funds and the size of a football pitch, will allow the animals to roam freely. Field hopes that “everyone who comes to the zoo can get slobbered on from a giraffe”.
If you are looking for zoo exhibit design, talk to our team today.