The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch in Comal County has marked today's World Giraffe Day by announcing the birth of Tripqua, the 34th articulated giraffe to be born at the park, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Tripqua is a female Reticulated Giraffe that originates from the Horn of Africa, where there has been an 80 percent loss of the wild population in the last 15 years. All giraffe species across Africa, the only continent where they roam wild, have lost 40 percent of their wild population in the last 30 years.
The park's Tiffany Soecthing is one of the world's premier leaders in giraffe conservation, and says says Tripqua's birth carries on a long line of efforts by the Refuge to preserve the magnificent species.
"Tripqua was born here at the Ranch, her mom was born at the Wildlife Ranch as well, and her grandmother was born at the Ranch as well, so she is the third generation," she said.
Soecthing says a combination of climate change, hunting for food, and poaching for profit have driven down the numbers of Reticulated Giraffes in Kenya. She says a lot of people talk about the endangered African elephant, but there are far more elephants in the wild in east Africa than there are giraffes.
And to Tripqua's unusual name.
"She is the 34th giraffe born at the Ranch, and she was born two days before our 34th anniversary," she said. Hence Tripqua to mark the occasion, 'Trip' for triple, and 'Qua' for quatro or four.
Natural Bridge Wildlife Refuge is now home to 12 giraffes, and Soecthing says Tripqua is friendly and very curious and she will soon be visible for visitors to the property.
PHOTO' NATURAL BRIDGE WILDLIFE RANCH