I never get tired of watching giraffe gently and silently gallop across the plains of Africa. There's something so incredible beautiful about these animals. How they've become "Vulnerable" - as per the newly released International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species - is beyond me..
Perhaps their gentleness has made them a target for those who would do harm to animals - and perhaps we shouldn't take for granted that wildlife will always be there for us to see. Go - travel the world - and see and do all the things that are on your Bucket List! #JetSailExplore
Did you know?
Giraffe (native to Africa and found between Chad and South Africa) live wherever acacia trees are in abundance, and spend much of their time feasting on the leaves of this tree - consuming about a 100 lbs of greens every day.
Giraffe range in size from 16-18 feet tall and weigh between 1,600 lbs and 3,000 lbs,
Like the human fingerprint, no two giraffes have the same markings - although those found in the same region will have a similar appearance..
The horns on their heads (ossicones) are made of cartilage. Next time you're on safari, point out to the amazed guests on your vehicle that the way to tell the difference between a male and female girafe (besides the obvioius) is that the female’s ossicones are covered with hair, while the male's are bare. People will start fighting for a spot next to you on the safari vehicle.
Although not territorial, giraffe live in groups (called a tower) of 12-15 giraffes.
Mama Giraffe is pregnant for 15 months and when the calf is born it is nearly six feet tall , weighing approx 130 lbs, Take that ladies! Within the first hour the calf is walking - and running after ten hours. At three to six years, they reach maturity, and they can live as long as 25 years.
Giraffes sleep only between 20 minutes to 2 hours a day because this is when it is most vulnerable.
The giraffe has special valves to protect its brain and keep it from blacking out when it lowers its head to drink; they both constrict and release blood flow.
And just in case you want to strike up a conversation with a stranger in the check-out line .....
A giraffe's heart weighs 22-24lbs and beats 170 times per minute; it moves at two rates: an amble (about 10 mph) and the gallop (up to 35mph); it's tongue is 21-inch long; it's lungs can hold 12 gallons of air; it can drink 10 gallons of water at a time; it can't swim.