Giraffes are fed a variety of fruits, vegetables and leaves in captivity, although each zoo offers a slightly different menu to these tall mammals. Among the common items offered to giraffes are lettuces, carrots, apples, bananas and alfalfa hay. Many zoos raise these food items high in the air to simulate the giraffe’s natural feeding behavior.Know More
In addition to fruits and vegetables, zookeepers often provide their charges with leafy branches to eat. Some of the common trees used for this purpose include alders, elms, ficus, ash and poplar. When eating this type of food, giraffes grab a small branch with their tongues and use their upper lips to rip it off. This is necessary because giraffes do not have upper teeth.
Giraffes are rather gentle animals, and many zoos allow visitors to have some contact with them. Some zoos, such as Zoo Atlanta, allow visitors to feed the giraffes as well. Typically, large, leafy vegetables, such as romaine lettuce, are used in these contexts, as the large leaves make it easier for visitors to hold while the giraffe is feeding.
In the wild, giraffes use their tongues extensively. Many zoos attempt to encourage similar behavior in captivity, so they place food in small cages. That way, if the giraffe wants to eat the food inside the cage, it must use its tongue to extract the food.Learn more about Giraffes
BioExpedition explains that giraffes reproduce through mating. Male giraffes are typically ready to mate when they are 6 years old, although more mature bulls often mate first before the younger ones. Female giraffes are ready to mate when they are around 4 years old.Full Answer >
Giraffe coat colors vary from light tan to nearly black. As of 2014, there are nine definite subspecies of the giraffe that differ in habitat and lifestyle, which accounts for their varying colorations. The markings on one subspecies of giraffe, the Thornicroft, may darken with age.Full Answer >
Giraffes have long necks in order to reach leaves, fruits and flowers high up in trees. They feed on broad-leafed trees in the rainy seasons and on evergreen trees in other seasons. Their long necks allow them to reach leaves that other animals cannot.Full Answer >
The giraffe, or giraffa camelopardalis, is endangered due to habitat loss, the breaking up of habitat areas, the lack of suitability in existing habitats, poaching and new human population growth. Giraffes need to find habitats that protect them from poachers, offer solid food and fluid resources, do not have an abundance of predators and provide an overall stable environment.Full Answer >