Rare twin giraffes born in Kenya

Rare twin giraffes born in Kenya
Rare twin giraffes posted by Kenyan wildlife minister Najib Balala. (Twitter)
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Rare twin giraffes were born in Nairobi's national park, Kenya's wildlife minister said Tuesday on Twitter.

"This is an extremely rare occurrence," minister Najib Balala said in a post that included a photograph of the mother with her two young offspring. "We welcome the newborns with love."

The twin giraffes are of the Maasai species.

Giraffes are endangered and have been listed on vulnerable species lists. According to Phys.org, who wrote about the births, only about 117,000 remain in the wild, though others have put the population as low as 68,000.

According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the long-necked species has seen a 30 percent decline in population over the past 30 years.

"Nairobi National Park lies just [four miles] from the heart of the Kenyan capital, and is a tourist magnet for its wildlife including lions, leopards, rhinos and buffalos which graze against a backdrop of distant skyscrapers," Phys.org reports.

"At 15 months," the site adds, "giraffes have one of the longest gestation periods for mammals. They give birth standing up, which means their calves drop just under [six feet] to the ground."

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, giraffes are threatened by loss of habitat, which is frequently converted into farms and ranches.

"Giraffes used to range continuously through much of the African savanna, but they now live in a handful of communities scattered in clumps across the continent," NRDC reports. "In some countries, like Mali, the giraffe has disappeared completely. In Niger, where many giraffes have been struck by cars, the population is so small and isolated that conservation officials have taken the drastic step of transporting some of the animals to a safer space."

You can view the photograph of the twin giraffes below or at this link.

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