Abu Dhabi, 7/9/2015 12:00:00 AM - Sir Bani Yas, the award-winning nature and wildlife island reserve, recently welcomed two Reticulated Giraffe calves – a female and a male - to its wildlife family, which features thousands of free-roaming wild animals. The calves were born after a gestation period of 15 months and the babies will nurse for at least one year but they will stay with their mothers for up to two years before they become more independent. These latest additions bring the total number of reticulated giraffes on the Island to 37.
Marius Prinsloo, General Manager of Sir Bani Yas Corporate Operations, said: “We are pleased to welcome these latest additions to our wildlife family. The healthy calves are a result of our breeding and monitoring programmes that ensure the Island as a haven for diverse wildlife population.”
Easily identifiable by their great height, the giraffes can be seen wandering around the 4,100 hectare Arabian Wildlife Park – a popular attraction on the island. Native to African savannahs, these tall mammals – males can grow up to 5.5 metres and females can grow up to 4.5 metres – prefer to chew on leaves and buds in treetops and can go for several days without drinking water. Moreover, their long legs allow them to run at speeds reaching up to 56 kilometres per hour.
“Since the breeding programme’s inception on Sir Bani Yas, the Island has successfully contributed Reticulated Giraffes to various reserves and private institutions across the UAE. This contribution offered a great range of opportunities to raise awareness about these unique mammals,” added Prinsloo.
An 87-square kilometre island located off the coast of Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas was developed into a wildlife reserve by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Today, as a result of dedicated environmental and conservation efforts, over 13,000 free-roaming animals and birds – including Oryx, gazelles, deer, ostriches, giraffes and cheetahs - call the island home. Offering a wide variety of experiences, ranging from quiet getaways to thrilling adventures and family-fun excursions, guests interested in visiting or staying on Sir Bani Yas can enjoy short direct flights from Abu Dhabi and Dubai through Rotana Jet or can avail of boat transfers from Jebel Dhanna in the Western Region.
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