Friday, December 4, 2015
The giraffe’s height given them an advantage. They are better able to keep a sharp eye out for predators. Their height gives them a disadvantage, too. It is difficult for a giraffe to drink at a water hole, which I watched them do while visiting in Africa. To reach the water they must spread their legs and bend down in quite an awkward position. While drinking, they are more vulnerable to predators such as lions, tigers, and leopards. Fortunately, giraffes only need to drink once every several days, however, as they obtain most of their water from the plant leaves they eat. The female gives birth standing up. Naturally this means that a newborn falls more than five feet to the ground a birth, rather a rude way to come into the world. However, typically they are able to stand within 30 minutes and, if necessary, can run with their mother when they are only 10 hours old. I’ve seen giraffe’s in zoos my whole life. Getting up close and person to a couple of them, however, has given me a new perspective on these gentle giants. It was more fun than I could have imagined!