Facts about this animal
Characterized by their size, their long legs and neck and distinct fur pattern, giraffes are unmistakable. Adult males stand 4.6-5.5 m tall and weigh 550-1800 kg. Females are shorter reaching a height of 4-4.8 m. The face is long and narrow with a haired muzzle. The head has a pair of short frontal horns covered with skin and hair, a median horn, sometimes only a knob, on the forehead, and sometimes a pair of very small horns on the occiput.
There is a short stiff mane of brown hair, and the long tail has a bushy tip. Giraffes inhabit both open savanna areas and wooded grasslands. They live in loosely bound, scattered herds of 10-40, sometimes more animals containing any possible combination of sexes and ages. Males establish and maintain their hierarchy by "necking" contests, or occasional violent sparring matches.
Giraffes feed predominantly on various species of acacias. They also browse from the leaves and shoots of trees or shrubs of other species, but they are selective.
Did you know?
that the giraffe's long neck is carried by only seven vertebrae and that it contains elastic blood vessels with special valves that preven a sudden rush of blood to the giraffe's head when it is lowered to drink?
|Name (Scientific)||Giraffa camelopardalis|
|Local names||Afrikaans: Kameelperd, Giraf
isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu: Indlulamithi
sePedi, seTswana: Thutlwa
seSotho, seTswana: Thuhlo
tshiVenda: Thuda, thudwa
|CITES Status||Not listed|
|CMS Status||Not listed|
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|Wild population||Approx. 80.000, population trend is decreasing (Red List IUCN 2011)|
|Zoo population||1386 reported to ISIS (2009)|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Requirement 73 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.
Road transport (according to the South African Standard SANS 10331): Use crates specially designed for the transportation of giraffe. Giraffe should only be transported by competent and experienced capture teams.
Find this animal on ZooLex
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Why do zoos keep this animal
Giraffes, being the tallest land mammales, are kept primarily for educational reasons and as ambassadors for their Subsaharan savanna habitat. In the case of the Rothschild's giraffe, which is endangered in the wild, the relatively substantial zoo population is ofconservation relevance.