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Giraffes brought to India by the British may belong to endangered species.

  • A genetic distance analysis of the giraffes in Alipore showed that they were most closely related to Nubian and Rothschild giraffes.
  • About 150 years ago, British colonialists brought batches of single species of the northern giraffe to India, from their other colonial possessions in Africa.
  • These now comprise a captive population of 29 individuals of northern giraffes across the country.
  • They are an exotic species that was imported into India, protocols to manage the populations were different when compared to animals that are native to the country.
  • Giraffes are found in the wild only in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Nubian giraffes:

  • It is the nominate subspecies of giraffes.
  • Habitat: found in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Sudan.
  • IUCN: The subspecies was listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN in 2018 for the first time due to a 95% decline in the past 3 decades.

Rothschild’s Giraffe:

  • It is also known as the Baringo giraffe, from the fact that it is seen in the wild around the area of Kenya close to Lake Baringo.
  • Habitat: desert and savanna plains areas of Africa (primarily in eastern Uganda and western Kenya. )
  • IUCN: Endangered