Giraffe, skyscraper of the bush – Maasai giraffe, Reticulated giraffe
Kenya hosts three species of giraffe: Rothschild’s, Masai and Reticulated (only Masai giraffe are present at Lions Bluff). The world’s tallest mammal (up to 5.2 meters tall), the giraffe uses its unique 45 cm long tongue and agile lips to browse on the leaves of trees that other creatures cannot reach, its especial favourite being acacia. Widespread and common in savannah, open woodland and plains, giraffe have a lifespan of 25-35 years. Non-territorial, they gather in loose leaderless herds to browse by day, while at night they lie down and ruminate. Masai giraffe have a broken pattern of dark blotches on a buff background. The more solidly built Rothschild’s giraffe, is paler in colour and has distinctive white ‘stockinged’ forelegs. Both sexes have knob-like horns but can be told apart due to the fact that the males have bald horn tips while the females’ are hairy.
Did you know?
Giraffe feed for up to 16 hours a day, and can consume up to 60 kg of leaves daily. They defend themselves by kicking and can run at speeds of up to 55 mph.
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