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See eye to eye with the world's tallest land animal at Werribee Open Range Zoo.

While the giraffe are not endangered, there is concern that the numbers of giraffe in the wild are decreasing. Poaching for the giraffe’s pelt, meat and tail has significantly reduced the wild population (the hair that grows at the end of the tail is used for threading beads and making bracelets). The expanding human population is encroaching on areas where giraffe formerly roamed freely.

Visiting the giraffes at the Zoo will not just open your eyes to these wondrous creatures, but you can also learn about the Zoo’s conservation program Beads for Wildlife, which helps communities and wildlife in Northern Kenya.

The giraffe lives in the African savannah. The open woodlands and grasslands of East Africa, particularly in Uganda, Sudan and Kenya, are home to the Rothschild Giraffe. There are nine subspecies of giraffe, and all have a characteristic walk, moving the legs on the same side of the body simultaneously. The subspecies are distinguished from each other by their coat patterns and geographical locations.

Giraffes are nearly 2 metres in height when born and males can reach a height of more than 5 metres when fully grown. Excellent eyesight and a good sense of hearing are features of all giraffe subspecies. A giraffe can see a human standing 2km away. When they are alarmed, giraffe may snort or grunt and they can run at a speed of 60km/h if they are being pursued. In order to defend itself, a giraffe will kick vigorously with its front legs.

Acacia leaves form the bulk of the giraffe’s diet, but other trees are also browsed. A male, or bull, can eat up to 80kg of leaves each day, along with bark and fruit. 

Class 
Mammalia
Order 
Artiodactyla
Family 
Giraffidae
Genus 
Giraffa
Species 
G. camelopardalis
Status 
Least Concern
Found in 
Africa

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