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Giraffes

Fact File

Continent:  Africa
Habitat: Savannah
HERBIVORE
Diet:  Herbivore (Plant Eater)

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Giraffes

There are two subspecies of Giraffe at South Lakes Safari Zoo, the Rothschild’s Giraffe and the West African Giraffe. All giraffes have reduced in numbers due to factors like habitat loss and conflict with humans.

The Rothschild’s Giraffe has darker spots that fade out towards the edges, and faded spots on the inner leg. Our West African Giraffes have paler, more well defined spots.

Below each image below is a detailed description of both subspecies.

Giraffa camelopardalis


Animals, mammals, Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates), Giraffidae (giraffes and okapis)


Our West African Giraffes are, as their name suggests, from west Africa.

We have a conservation project that helps Peralta giraffes in west Africa, the ASGN. This project helps giraffes by improving the lives of locals, providing wells, seed and health care so people won’t be in conflict with the giraffes. This reduces both competition and persecution for the animals.

ASGN web

Habitat: Savannah, scrubs, open acacia woodlands and grasslands.

Vital Statistics:
–Average weight: 800kg
–Average height: males 5.3m, females 4.3m

Life Expectancy:
In the wild up to: 15 years
In captivity up to: 25 years

Diet: Leaves, flowers, seed pods and fruits.

Gestation: 430 days

Number of Young: 1

Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi


Animals, mammals, Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates), Giraffidae (giraffes and okapis)


Rothschild’s Giraffes are taller than many other Giraffe subspecies. They are the only species to be born with 5 ossicones (the bony protuberances on their heads).

Habitat: Savannah, scrubs, open acacia woodlands and grasslands.

Vital Statistics:
–Average weight: male 1192kg, female 1825kg
–Average height: 6m

Life Expectancy:
In the wild up to: 25 years
In captivity up to: 28 years

Diet: Leaves, twigs, seed pods, and fruit.

Gestation: 14-16 months

Number of Young: 1

Conservation
How we are Protecting Wild Animals
In West Africa there used to be thousands of giraffes… now they only exist in one country, Niger.
Their numbers plummeted in the last few decades to around 50 animals in a small area close to Niamey, Niger. The sub-saharan location is so hot and dry that few plants can grow, resulting in competition between humans and giraffes for food. As a result, giraffes were dying from starvation or being poached.
The ASGN works with local people, providing fresh water wells and advice to help them grow crops. We also provide health care to those who cannot afford it. This supply of water, doctors, dentists, micro-credits and support helps to change attitudes towards giraffes, meaning less people poach them. Instead, locals help us monitor and care for giraffes. This is probably the most successful large mammal recovery project anywhere in the world, as there are now towards 500 giraffes!

Safari Zoo Animals Protected by This Project

Other Wild Animals Protected by This Project