Giraffe gestation lasts between 14 and 15 months; a single calf is born. The mother gives birth standing up and the embryonic sack actually bursts when the baby falls to the ground. Newborn Giraffes are about 1.8 metres tall. Within a few hours of being born, calves can run around and are indistinguishable from a calf that may be a week old already; however, for the first two weeks, they spend most of their time lying down, guarded by the mother. While adult giraffes are too large to be attacked by most predators, the young can fall prey to Lions, Leopards, hyenas, and African Hunting Dogs, it has been speculated that their characteristic spotted pattern provides a certain degree of camouflage. Only 25 to 50 percent of Giraffe calves reach adulthood; those that do have a life expectancy of between 20 and 25 years.













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In its native country the Giraffe browses on the twigs of trees, preferring plants of the Mimosa genus; but it appears that it can without inconvenience live on other vegetable food. A giraffe can eat 63 kilograms (140 pounds) of leaves and twigs daily. Rothschild's GiraffeThe pace of the Giraffe is an amble, though when pursued it can run extremely fast. However, the small size of its lungs prevents it from supporting a lengthened chase. The Giraffe defends itself against the lion, its principal enemy, with its fore feet, with which it strikes with great force.

Images 1 Through 8 Are Courtesy of US Fish & Wildlife Service
Images 9 through 24 Are Courtesy Of Scotch Macaskill





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