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Getting to know the Thornicroft’s giraffe

The Thornicroft’s giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis thornicrofti), also known as the Rhodesian giraffe, is a morphologically distinct subspecies of giraffe found only in the Luangwa Valley in Zambia.

The population is biologically isolated from other giraffe and as such is ecologically and potentially genetically unique. Approximately 550 live in the wild and there are no captive populations.

3 Thornicroft’s giraffes, Luangwa Valley, Zambia
With recent genetic studies showing that groups of giraffes across Africa are reproductively isolated from each other and potentially distinct species, the endemic Thornicroft’s giraffe may prove to be a unique species which would further highlight the need for increased conservation and management of its unique genetic heritage.

3 Thornicroft’s giraffes, Luangwa Valley, Zambia

As an iconic symbol of Zambia, the Thornicroft’s giraffe is an important tourism drawcard for visitors to the country and thus an economic asset for Zambia.

2 Thornicroft’s giraffes, Luangwa Valley, Zambia

Interesting facts about giraffes

♦ Baby giraffes are about 6 feet tall when they are born.

♦ Each giraffe has a different coat pattern (like human fingerprints) and can be used to distinguish between individuals and subspecies.

♦ The okapi is a close relative of the giraffe making up the Giraffidae family.

♦ A giraffe’s heart weighs approximately 10kg (approximately 24 pounds).

♦ A group of giraffes is called a ‘tower of giraffes’.

a young Thornicroft’s giraffe, Luangwa Valley, Zambia

Kafunta Safaris

Kafunta Safaris is a safari operator in South Luangwa, Zambia, offering exceptional services at their three camps. A combined stay at Kafunta River Lodge and Island Bush Camp offers an intimate and authentic safari experience to accompany the renowned wilderness and spectacular wildlife of South Luangwa National Park.

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