Wildlife charity co-founded by British actress ‘delighted’ by giraffe twins

Staff working for an international wildlife charity were “delighted” by the birth of rare twin giraffes in Kenya.

The Born Free Foundation was co-founded by British actress and wildlife campaigner Virginia McKenna, alongside her husband, Bill Travers, and their son Will, after McKenna and Travers featured in the 1966 film Born Free, set in Kenya.

The team, dedicated to protecting local endangered giraffes and elephants as part of the Saving Meru’s Giants’ programme, recorded the birth at Meru National Park, about 180 miles from Nairobi.

“Our team is so excited to report our first ever giraffe twins in Meru, sighted within the Golo Campsite, in the eastern end of the park,” Saving Meru’s Giants’ programme manager Newton Simiyu said.

Born Free twin giraffes
The twins with mother Zarafa (Born Free)

“The mother’s name is Zarafa and it was wonderful to see her show great maternal care to the young ones as they ran around her, she was very attentive and affectionate.”

Fewer than 16,000 reticulated giraffes remain in the wild, about 1,600 of these living in Meru – and only a handful of twin births have been documented among giraffes worldwide, according to the programme manager.

The charity’s conservation manager, Penny Banham, added: “Giraffe twins are such a rare occurrence, especially in the wild, where the chances of both surviving are slim.”

“But against all odds, we are thrilled that Zarafa and her twins are doing well, carrying on the story of reticulated giraffes in Kenya.

“They offer a glimmer of hope for the species, where the population has been in steady decline.

“Over their lifetime, these twins will inevitably face numerous challenges as their habitat, their home, continues to be degraded and deadly snares are laid in their path.

“But Born Free will be there, facing the challenges head on and making a brighter future for all giraffes.”

To find out more about Born Free’s work in Kenya, go to: www.bornfree.org.uk/giraffe-conservation