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Reticulated Giraffe

GIRAFFA CAMELOPARDALIS RETICULATA

Quick Facts

Scientific name: Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata
Height: Males: up to 19 feet (5.8 meters) Females: up to 14 feet (4.3 meters)
Weight: Males: up to 2,800 pounds (1270 kilograms) Females: up to 1,700 pounds (771 kilograms)
Life span: 15 to 20 years
Gestation: 14 to 15 months
Number of offspring: usually 1
Size at birth: 6 feet tall (1.8 meters), 100 to 150 pounds (45 to 68 kilograms)
Age of maturity: 3 to 5 years
Conservation status: Two subspecies of giraffe are endangered.

About

Living where the food is

Reticulated giraffes live in the dry savanna-grassland areas of northeast Africa (Somalia and Northern Kenya). This is where they can find leafy trees to eat.


Do they just eat leaves?

Well, mostly they do eat broad-leafed foliage. But they also eat twigs and acacia bark. Alfalfa hay and a specially formulated pellet-grain food make up their diet at the Zoo.


Head and shoulders above the rest

Giraffes are the tallest of all mammals at 14 to 19 feet high. Their long necks contain seven vertebrae and they have manes of short, stiff hairs. Giraffes have large brown spots outlined in white. On their head are two short horns and a knob on the forehead. Their black tongue can be up to 20 inches long and is used for grasping leaves and other food from trees and plants. Giraffes have seven (very large) vertebrae in their necks…Which is the same number as humans!


Make a path!

Giraffes are able to move about by walking or galloping in open spaces. To drink, they must spread their front legs in a wide “V” while bending down to the water. They defend themselves by kicking and can run at speeds up to 35 mph. They have excellent eyesight and hearing.


A very tall family

Giraffes may live in herds of up to 40 animals. Female giraffes give birth to live young while standing in tall grass which cushions the baby’s fall.


Conservation

Learn more about our efforts, our conservation partners around the world, and the simple steps you can take to contribute.

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