By Nathan Honest and Claire Ward
15 Months In The Making
This month, Chester Zoo welcomed a rare baby giraffe after a tumultuous few years for the struggling tourist attraction, which suffered a devastating fire in 2018 before being hit hard by the response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. The infant Rothschild’s Giraffe dropped to the ground after his mother, Orla, endured a fifteen-month long pregnancy. Chester Zoo shared incredible CCTV footage on both their website and social media of their lanky new arrival making his way into the world and taking his first few shaky steps as he found his footing in the new environment.
Already standing at a height of 6 feet, experts expect the new arrival to reach astounding heights of around eighteen feet and weigh over 1000kg! This gentle giant is one of an endangered species as only 1600 of the Rothschild’s Giraffes remain in the wild across Africa. They have seen their numbers decline by half in recent decades, with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature citing habitat loss and poaching as the two biggest threats to the survival of their species. Therefore, the blessing of new life at Chester Zoo is the marking of a crucial step forward in aiding to protect giraffes and enable them to thrive.
Halfway There – Britain’s Jab Rollout Continues Apace
After what has undoubtedly been a traumatic, heartbreaking year, the end is finally in sight. By the end of March, Britain is expected to have given crucial first vaccine doses to over thirty million people- half the adult population of the UK. The speedy rollout will allow lockdown restrictions to be lifted for good, allowing society to thrive once again. All the currently used vaccines give an unprecedented degree of protection against infection and serious illness, beyond even what the most optimistic experts predicted.
Take-up has been high, with less than twenty per cent of the population expected to reject the vaccine. It was feared that vaccine hesitancy could derail the rollout, with a considerable amount of misinformation prevalent online. However, this does not seem to have been a problem in the UK, and indeed in the United States. Whilst it will be a while yet before young adults are offered jabs en-masse, the ongoing success of the program should allow student life to resume soon!
Cover Image Credit: Lucy Walch, Digital Editor