GIRAFFE FACT FILE

by Wildlife South Africa


GIRAFFE FACT FILE
Latin Name: Giraffa camelopardalis
Afrikaans: Kameelperd
 
Distribution
 
Giraffe in South Africa occurs in the Kruger National Park National Park and throughout South Africa in provincial nature reserves and private game reserves.
 
Habitat
 
Giraffe prefer open woodland and shrub savannah with enough trees that has palatable leaves, especially acacias which is a favourite food source.
 
 
Habits
 
Giraffes congregate in herds of up to 20 animals and usually one territorial bull is present. They are often found with Zebra, Blue Wildebeest and Impala. 
 
Difference between bull and cow
 
Bulls are larger and usually darker. The bony growth resembling short horns on their heads are actually hair growth. The horns of Bulls are more symmetrical and much thicker than cows. Bulls usually has no tufts or hardly any compared to cows that have tufts of hair on the horns.
 
Mass 
 
Bulls – Up to 1400 kilograms
Cows – Up to 1000 kilograms
 
Height
 
Bulls can grow up to more than 5 meters. Cows about 4 to 4 ½ meters.
 
 
Lifespan
 
Can live up to about 28 years.
 
Breeding / Gestation
 
A single calf born throughout the year. The gestation period is 15 months.
 
Diet
 
Shrubs and leaves especially from acacia trees. Not water dependent but will drink if water is available.
 
Day or night 
 
Active by day and night.
 
Enemies
 
Humans, Lion, Leopard, Spotted Hyena, Leopard, Cheetah, Wild dogs, Nile Crocodile.
 
Interesting facts
 
They can run steadily at speeds of up to 55 km/h for quite a distance. Giraffes can deliver a very powerful and fast kick with front and back feet.