21st June marks World Giraffe Day – a day dedicated to one of nature’s gentle giants!
Giraffes are breathtaking animals, see for yourself through these 5 amazing facts:
- Groups of Giraffe are called towers. Giraffes are very social animals, and a tower of giraffes usually consists of around 15 members.
- Despite only drinking once every few days (due to getting water from their leafy diets), they have a huge appetite and can eat up to 45kg of leaves and twigs a day!
- An adult male can grow to around 5.5m tall
- As herbivores, their favourite food is the acacia tree.
- Their tongues are very long and can grow to up 53cm in length!
Yorkshire Wildlife Park are lucky to house two subspecies of Giraffe including one endangered Rothchild’s Giraffe (less than 1,100 left in East Africa), two Reticulated Giraffe (approximately 5,000 left in the wild) and one hybrid.
Giraffes are in devastating decline, which was recognized in 2015 when the world’s tallest land mammal moved from ‘Lead Concern’ to ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List, with estimates of a 40% decline of giraffe populations since 1985.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation are regular supporters of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF), whose objective is to raise awareness of the endangerment of giraffes, provide support for the species, conserve their habitat in Africa and ultimately secure a future for the giraffe.
YWPF supported a major relocation project in Uganda named Operation Twiga, whereby 18 giraffe were transported across the Nile to populate a new area within Murchison Falls National Park. The translocation of Rothchild’s giraffe was critical as it created a satellite population in a new area to help ensure their sustainable long term survival.
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