There’s way more to these gentle giants than meets the eye . Discover seven of our favourite fun facts about this species that will make you long for more!
1. Just like fingerprints, their coats are totally unique.
Look closely next time you visit our herd and you’ll notice that each giraffe has its own pattern!
2. Their tongues have built in sun protection.
As a browsing species, giraffes spend a lot of time eating leaves off tall trees, exposing their long tongues to the sun. Experts believe their tongue’s dark pigment helps protect them from getting sunburnt while eating – and they eat a lot!
3. Taller than you at birth
It’s no secret that giraffes are tall, but you may be surprised to learn that at about 1.8m tall newborns already stand taller than most adult humans.
4. Nursery herds
Giraffe band together to look after babies. If there are multiple calves in a herd, the mothers move together and keep their babies in a creche or nursery herd to protect from predators like lions.
5. Long necks are clever necks
Giraffe don’t drink very much water, but when they do, they have to drop their heads all the way to the ground.
Luckily, large one-way valves in their jugular veins expand to prevent blood rushing to their brain when its head is lowered.
6. Four stomach chambers, slow eaters
Giraffe are herbivores that eat leaves all day, picking the best bites from the tallest trees. But eating leaves takes a long time. You might have noticed them chewing over and over without taking any new bites.
They do this because they are ruminants, which means they have four stomach chambers. Their complex digestive systems help them to break down tough leaf materials. So even if you don’t see them grab any new leaves, they may just be rechewing as part of the digestive process.
7. Silent extinction
Giraffes are the tallest land mammal, but that doesn’t stop them from feeling the harsh realities of extinction. In the past 30 years, the wild giraffe population has declined by a heartbreaking 40%.
Perth Zoo’s giraffe are part of the regional breeding program working to raise awareness of the plight of this species in the wild.
And if you come along to our special Giraffe Close Encounter, you get a whole new view of these incredible animals!
It costs just $14 per person, and a portion of every Close Encounter sold goes towards conservation of wildlife in their natural habitat. This includes community education programs and anti-poaching units in Africa.
Book your spot today!