25 November 2016
Gerald, RAMM’s iconic giraffe, has been officially reclassified. Along with all Masai giraffes, he has been elevated to being a distinct species (Giraffa tippelskirchi) rather than a subspecies of the northern giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi).
“I was worried when I first heard that Gerald had changed his name” said Senior Collections Officer, Julien Parsons. “He is loved by so many visitors that I feared an uproar. I’m relieved that the reclassification only requires a change of label and will have no bearing on his familiar name. Gerald, I am pleased to report, remains Gerald.”
The change results from DNA research suggests that the giraffe is not one species with several subspecies but four separate species that don’t interbreed. This could change how conservationists protect these marvellous animals in the wild.
Giraffe inspired gifts can now be purchased in The Shop at RAMM.