Scientific Name: Giraffa camelus rothchildi
Range and Habitat: Range – East Africa
Habitat: Dry wooded savanna
Size: 18 to 19 feet tall
Life Span: Can live up to 20 years in captivity
Gestation: 16 months and a single birth; calf is 6 feet tall and weighs 120 pounds.
Wild Diet: Acacia leaves and grasses
Zoo Diet: Grain and alfalfa hay
Habits: Giraffes live in relaxed herds of female and young. The bulls are usually solitary. The dappled coat is excellent camouflage in the forest, and the long neck allows browsing in tall trees and extended vision. A system of valves and reservoirs in the neck prevent blood from rushing to the head and causing strokes when the head is lowered or blood draining from the head when it is raised. Giraffes must straddle their legs to drink or browse ground cover.Giraffes can run 35 mph and can kick with all four legs at the same time. A blow can kill a man or large cat. Giraffes have vocal chords but rarely make sounds. When they do, it is usually a bleat, cough, or grunt. Giraffes sleep standing up. The young are able to walk within one hour of birth.
Status: Threatened due to loss of habitat and illegal poaching.