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
Only some of the largest predators in Africa, such as lions, hyenas, leopards and crocodiles, hunt and eat giraffes, and even then, they typically target either young or very old giraffes. A healthy adult giraffe is an incredibly large animal, weighing up to 4,250 pounds, that can run quickly and deliver devastating attacks with its hooves. The males, called bulls, are substantially larger than the females.Full Answer >
Baby giraffes are called calves. A calf can stand and walk about an hour after it is born, and it begins exploring vegetation within a week.Full Answer >
Giraffes only sleep about 30 minutes during a 24-hour period. They tend to sleep in small, 5-minute increments to maintain their safety.Full Answer >
A giraffe's height is an evolutionary adaptation that allows it to feed from tall trees and other sources of vegetation. The long tongue of the giraffe, which can grow to 21 inches in length, is a similar adaptation designed for reaching difficult spots.Full Answer >