The giraffe is the tallest animal in the world. Its average height is 16 feet. Thus, they don’t need to be tiny to become sociable animals. So, it’s enticing to have one under your care. It’s found in the forests, savannas, and shrublands of Africa.
How much does a giraffe cost? The cost is from $25,000 to $60,000 or even more. The price varies based on the giraffe’s age and health. Moreover, the necessary sum also includes the tax ratio and keeping up with legal requirements. You have to check if owning a giraffe is allowed in your area as regulations vary from place to place.
In some areas in the US and the UK, it’s illegal for an individual to own a pet giraffe. Getting a permit is close to impossible since it takes a lot of effort and money. After purchasing a giraffe, you have to spend for its needs. To know more about them, more relevant information will be unveiled in this article.
Where Does Giraffe Come From?
Giraffes are originally from Africa. They dwell in the Southern part of Sahara, Northern Botswana, Eastern Transvaal, and Natal. You will no longer see a tower of giraffes in the Western side of Africa except for the remaining ones in Niger.
Giraffes inhabit grasslands, open woodlands, and savannah because the water in these places is accessible.
They also like dry, arid land, so some of them are in the desert. Some of them head to denser, wooded places where foliage is abundant.
How Many Giraffes are Left?
In 2016, an estimated 97,500 giraffes were in the wild, while 1,144 giraffes were under the custody of humans. These numbers oblige the International Union for Conservation of Nature to categorize giraffes as vulnerable to extinction.
The union pointed out that the threats are illegal hunting, civil unrest, habitat loss, and ecological or climate change.
How Long Does a Giraffe Live?
A giraffe can live around 20 to 27 years when in a zoo or captivity. Those who live in the wild have a life span of 10 to 15 years.
Anatomy of a Giraffe
Height and Weight
The height of adult giraffes ranges from 14 to 18 feet. Males are usually taller than females. The tallest male giraffe is 19.3 feet tall, and the tallest female giraffe is 17 feet.
In terms of weight, the average for males is 1,192 kg, and the maximum is 1,930 kg. The minimum weight of females is 828 kg, and the maximum is 1,825 kg.
The Neck and the Senses
Giraffe’s pair of bulging eyes are located on the sides of its head to allow all-around, colored vision. The giraffe’s hearing and smelling senses are sharp. It can also close its nose to prevent sniffing sand, ants, and harmful particles.
Tongue and Lips
The 45-inch long tongue of giraffes has purplish-black color to prevent sunburn. It has several functions, such as cleaning its nose and grasping foliage. Both the tongue and the upper lip are prehensile. When foraging, the hair on the upper lip protects them from thorns.
Skin and Coating
The skin of giraffes is gray and with a thickness that doesn’t get punctured from thorns. Their bodies are covered by fur that acts as a chemical defense and parasite repellent. The whole body of a giraffe is covered by a coating in colors brown, chestnut, nearly black, and orange.
There are lighter shades like cream and white to separate the dark hues. Thus, it creates a camouflage pattern. Due to this feature, it’s hard to spot giraffes that are behind bushes and trees from a few meters away.
The lanky fore and hind legs of a giraffe are almost the same in length. A suspensory ligament helps these legs to bear the body’s weight. They move in two ways which are walking and galloping.
When walking, giraffes direct their legs to one side of the body then to the other side.
To gallop, giraffes place their back legs around the front ones, which subsequently move forward. When it’s time to rest, they kneel through their front legs so they can lower down their bodies.
These tall animals take a rest or sleep by placing their bodies on top of their folded legs.
The neck makes the most of a giraffe’s height. It can be 6.6 to 7.9 feet long. Though it’s unusually long, there are ball and socket joints to put it to good use. Giraffes can tilt their heads vertically and reach branches with their tongues when foraging.
Can You Buy a Giraffe Legally?
You can legally buy or possess a giraffe in the US. Only Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Virginia prohibit the ownership of exotic animals like giraffes.
Giraffe Pricing History
There was a significant increase in the price of giraffes in the 1930s. During that time, only rhinos and hippos were more expensive than giraffes. In 1937, a giraffe was sold at 120,000 crowns since this animal is not accustomed to the European climate.
The one that is raised in Europe was even sold at a higher price of 220,000 crowns. In the same period, elephants only cost 60,000 crowns.
How Much Does it Cost to Feed a Giraffe per Day?
As of 2020, the yearly average cost of feeding a giraffe is $3,000. Thus, it costs $8.22 to feed a giraffe per day. Rations are filled with food variations such as browse branches, pellets, lucerne hay, and a small number of fruits and vegetables.
The plants that giraffes love to munch on are acacia, cassurina, coprosma, elm, eucalyptus, myoporum, palm, and prunus.
They like apples, beans, beets, carrots, endives, kale, lettuce, melons, pears, silver, and sweet potatoes. For their protein needs, they can get 15% to 25% from pellets and 15% to 20% from lucerne hay.
How Much Does a Giraffe Cost in South Africa?
The giraffe costs 11,000 to 14,000 Rands or more in South Africa. After converting the prices to US dollars, they’re $685 to $827. They vary as trading takes place in different places.
Can You Adopt a Baby Giraffe?
You can adopt a baby giraffe, but it’s not what you exactly think. You don’t take it home and take care of it yourself. Adopting a baby giraffe means giving financial support to giraffe conservation of the ecosystem in Africa.
After you donate, you’ll receive an adoption certificate as well as a photograph and letter from your adopted baby giraffe. You may also donate and put it under someone’s name, just like giving it as a present.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Giraffes Friendly?
Giraffes are friendly. They’re not only friendly but calm and peaceful as well. However, they don’t like being petted.
Are Giraffes Intelligent?
Giraffes are intelligent based on the findings of scientific research. They’re one of the animals that utilize low-frequency sounds for communication.
How Do Giraffes Die?
Giraffes die of natural death caused by old age or being struck by lightning in dry, open savanna. However, other causes lead to premature deaths.
Young giraffes prove to be self-sufficient but vulnerable to predators like hyenas, leopards, and lions. Only a quarter of infants reach adulthood because they served as prey. Adult giraffes are sometimes being attacked too.
Hunters are also after giraffes for their meat and skin. Many Africans think that a giraffe’s tail is highly valuable.
Furthermore, the number of living giraffes dwindles because their living space becomes limited. Thus, they can’t sustain their needs and it leads to death.
Can Giraffes Climb Trees?
Giraffes can’t climb trees, and they don’t need to do it since they are sometimes taller than trees. Hence, they can just reach the top with their long necks. A photo of a giraffe climbing a tree circulates online, but it’s not real.
Can Giraffes Swim?
Based on the study of university professors, giraffes can swim, but they do it badly. They will avoid doing so as long as they can.
What Kills and Eats a Giraffe in the Wild?
Lions, leopards, and hyenas kill and eat a giraffe in the wild.
Due to their enormous frame, giraffes cost a massive amount of money. You’ll also have to spend for its habitat and food. It’s essential to prepare a wide space for its home and a big ration for its daily meal. Payment is also necessary when you get a license or permit in owning a giraffe.