Giraffe in exhibit

Giraffe

Scientific Name

Giraffa camelopardalis

Class

Mammalia

Order

Artiodactyla

Range

Sub-saharan Africa

Habitat

Open woodlands, plains, and savannas

Estimated Wild Population

110,000
Giraffe in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Vulnerable IUCN Conservation Status: Vulnerable

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Physical Description

Standing 19 feet tall, giraffes are the tallest ground-dwelling animals in the world. Females are slightly shorter than males, but both genders have tan and brown coats. Their front legs are longer than their back legs, giving their body a sloping appearance. Both males and females have horn-like structures called ossicornes on the top of their head, although males develop additional bony growths along their skull as they age. Giraffes gather in fluid herds of up to 40 individuals.

Interesting Fact 1

To pump blood up to their brain, giraffes require a powerful heart that weighs up to 24 pounds—heavier than some small dogs

Interesting Fact 2

Their long tail ends in a large tuft of hair, which they use as a flyswatter to drive away insects.

Interesting Fact 3

Males compete for females through “necking"—where two individuals entwine their necks and wrestle to determine dominance.

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Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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Saving Animals From Exctinction

AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction focuses the collective expertise within AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and leverages their audiences to save species.

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Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

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Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy. 

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Take Action With Us

Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

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