For the love of giraffes
Everyone knows what a giraffe is, but very few have actually seen them in real life – even less people have met them in the wild.
Those who have met one up close, will never forget the experience.
You cannot fathom how big they are and how majestic they look when they move.
Seeing them run is nothing short from amazing. They are so tall and with the long legs and longer necks, it looks like they run in slow motion – even though they can reach speeds up to 60km/h (35mph).
The African savannah
Giraffes can be found in different parts of Africa – see the map below.
There are several different species among them, and some are more endangered than others.
The Kordofan and the Nubian Giraffe are at a critical level, with very few individuals left.
The Angolan giraffe are safe for now, with greater numbers.
Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GFC) estimates there to be apx 117.000 individuals left and the numbers keep decreasing.
This is a trend that needs to stop, to ensure our future children also shall enjoy these majestic creatures.
World giraffe day: 21st June
The 21st of June is the longest day or night of the year, depending on which hemisphere you live. On this day, we celebrate the tallest animal – every year.
The day was initiated by GFC (Giraffe Conservation Foundation) and is not only worldwide celebration of these much-loved-animals, but also an annual event to raise support, create awareness and shed light on the challenges giraffe face in the wild. By supporting World Giraffe Day (WGD), you help save giraffe in Africa. There are only 117,000 of them left in the wild and it is important to act now.
There are events all around the world to celebrate this day – in zoos, schools, NGOs, governments, institutions, companies and conservation organisations.
Giraffe babies enter the world with a 2 metres drop (6 feet) after a 15 month long pregnancy
You could say they literarily getting jumpstarted into life.
Just short of an hour later, the baby giraffe will get up on its feet and walk.
Do you want to see one try to take its first steps? You are in for a treat:
Tallest mammals on earth
You will instantly recognise them in the African savannah as they stand out from everything.
Mammals are animals with a backbone, which feed from their mothers milk – just like human children do.
Imagine, the male giraffes can become almost 6 metres tall (18 feet) and weigh as much as 3 tons.
That is a very big animal.
These animals are very gentle and docile for the most part.
Don´t let that fool you though – as they are really strong too. One well placed kick from a giraffe, can kill a lion.
Natural enemies of the giraffe
There are few animals who will challenge a full grown giraffe. The kick from a giraffe can kill a lion and the lions seems to know about it.
When lions get really hungry, a pride (several lions in a group hunting) may decide to attack. The easiest target would be a giraffe baby, but they are often under mums protection.
Not so different from humans
Giraffes are social animals and they have friends just like us. Sometimes they will quarrel like us as well, trying to decide which one is more powerful.
They fight by slamming their long necks into one another.
It looks violent, but there are rules to the fight and normally they don´t get hurt badly.
Giraffes have different groups they hang with, for different activities – kinda like humans. We have our colleagues at work, friends to do sports and other activities with – and our core family at nighttime.
Giraffes do something similar, as they keep to one group when they sleep, and another group while they gather food. These groups may also vary over time.