Giraffes Are Gorgeous: Graceful, Beautiful Animals
Giraffes Are Gorgeous ~ But They Need Help
Come with me to learn about those tall, graceful, gorgeous animals known as giraffes. Their numbers in the wild are decreasing throughout the world each year. African Giraffes alone, are already listed as an endangered species because their habitat is being encroached upon by civilization cutting down trees to clear the land. Giraffes only eat leaves from the Acacia, Mimosa and Wild Apricot trees and once those are gone, they must sometimes travel hundreds of miles to find forage. Their numbers are also being significantly reduced by hunters, some just for sport, some for their meat, skin, tails and tendons. True, the latter items then support the human race, but lump all the numbers together, and the giraffe population is beginning to suffer. But there are things we can do to help save them and I’ve provided links for that purpose, and given you a number of book choices to learn about giraffes and how they live.
Wild Giraffe Numbers Are Dwindling
Here Are Some Reasons
Giraffes have been hunted in Africa for the use of their meat for food and the skin as ornaments, their tails used for bracelets, necklaces and thread. Even the tendons were used for strings of musical instruments. But they began to be hunted for sport in the 19th century, where nothing was used, they were just trophies. At the same time, the destruction of their living space has increased, since trees are being removed from the landscape to make way for people, thus leaving giraffes no food.
Generally, Giraffes are not considered as an endangered species, but they have become eliminated from many areas that were their normal range. In nations where they were normally found in great numbers, they have virtually disappeared. The West African giraffe and the Rothschild giraffe have now been listed as endangered, since their population has been reduced to hundreds. Another species of giraffe, the Nubian, may have less than 250 remaining in the world. Some studies have indicated giraffe numbers are estimated to be as low as 80,000 world wide.
Wild Giraffes Are Threatened By Predators
Lions, Alligators and Man Are Greatest Foes
These giraffes are at their greatest vulnerability from all predators as they drink water. Fortunately, they do not need to do this often, as their forage usually contains enough moisture to meet their needs. But the most deaths from predators occur at watering holes.
What are your thoughts on the reasons we are losing Giraffes?
Interesting Giraffe Facts You Might Enjoy Knowing
Male giraffes do “battle” with each other for female affections by a maneuver called “necking,” where they wrap their long neck around the opposing giraffe’s neck. Usually the battle is over when one of them has enough and walks away.
The giraffe’s closest relative is an okapi, a mammal that looks as though it is related to the zebra because part of its body is striped.
Most of the time, if you see a few giraffes, you will also see zebras. Zebras are smart and love to travel with giraffes since they will spot any predatory danger before the zebras get wind of it thereby giving the zebra a better chance of surviving.
Giraffes grow from 16 to 20 feet tall. Calves are usually around 6 feet tall when born, and are dropped from the standing mother. The calves are able to recover quickly and are running around within a few hours of birth.
Giraffes are ruminants, meaning they are much like cows in that they have multiple stomachs and regurgitate a “cud” to continue chewing.
Giraffes see the world in full color and their sense of hearing and smell are keen.
Contrary to popular belief, giraffes are not silent. Courting males cough loudly, females bellow for their calves, and calves make numerous snorts, bleats and mewing sounds. Sometimes they’ve been known to snort, moan or hiss.
The antenna-like protrusions on a giraffe’s head are known as ossicones, and lie flat on the calf’s head until a few days after it is born. They are ossified cartilage and remain covered with skin and fur, unlike antlers or horns.
- World Wildlife Fund Species Adoption
You can adopt a giraffe or any wildlife species here at this link to the World Wildlife Fund.
- World Wildlife Fund Donation
If you’d prefer to donate to the protection of the giraffe or any other wildlife species, this is the link to do so.
- Science Word – Giraffe Sounds
The sounds a giraffe is able to make.
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