About Giraffe

Unfortunately, like many other species on our planet, giraffes are under great threat in the wild. Giraffe populations have suffered a large decline in the past ten years, with estimates for some populations showing an 80% decline to what they were ten years ago.

We believe that no picture of the African savannah is complete without a giraffe, and indeed giraffes are an important part of any African ecosystem. With research, action and planning, we are able to develop new conservation strategies that will help protect giraffes, and secure a future for them in the wild.

With your help, we can work towards securing a future for giraffes in the wild by raising awareness, carrying out research, education and conservation.

A charismatic, gentle and unique creature, please help us to save giraffes in the wild.

All About Giraffes

Giraffes are the tallest living mammal on earth; they can be found living in savannahs, grasslands and open woodland across Africa. Currently there are thought to be nine subspecies of giraffes.

A unique feature, their long necks are used to help them browse on high vegetation that is out of reach of other browsers in the ecosystem. They feed mainly on tall trees and favour Acacia species, eating up to 34kg of food per day! Acacia leaves contain a high percentage of water and so giraffe can go for long periods without drinking.

Giraffes use their 18-inch tongues to strip leaves off branches; the thick skin on the tongue protects them from the thorns and their saliva is thought to be anti-bacterial. The dark colour of their tongues helps protect it against being sun burnt.

Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:
 
GIRAFFE FUN FACTS
  • Type: Mammal
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Life span in the wild: 25 years
  • Size: 14 to 19 ft (4 to 6 m)
  • Weight: 1,750 to 2,800 lbs (794 to 1,270 kg)
  • Closest living relative: Okapi
  • The short horns on their heads are correctly known as “ossicones”
  • Giraffes have longer forelegs than hind legs
  • A giraffe's heart has special adaptations to enable it to pump blood up the animal's long neck to its head
  • Giraffes have the same number of vertebrae (seven) in their necks as all other mammals, including you!
  • Males and females tend to eat from different parts of a tree to ensure that the sexes do not compete for food. 
  • Newborn giraffe calves begin their lives by falling 6 feet to the ground
  • Giraffes are thought to be mute but this is incorrect – they can make cough, bleat, bellow, snort or roar sounds
  • A giraffe has just 2 gaits: walking and galloping 
  • Like human fingerprints, each giraffe's coat is unique to that individual 
  • Giraffes only sleep for 20 minutes a day
  • They spend 16 to 20 hours a day feeding 
  • Giraffes have the longest tail of any land mammal – up to 8 feet long!
  • Giraffes have the highest known blood pressure of any mammal in the world
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